MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: WEC

Five Memorable Moments in the Brief, Wondrous Life of the WEC


(Thanks for the, uh, memories? PicProps: It’sFightingStupid.)

Tonight we finally find out what happens on the series finale of the WEC (Spoiler alert: They all die and go to heaven together). Obviously, trying to cook the nine-year history of a promotion that became synonymous with mind-blowing action down to fewer than a half dozen highlights is totally impossible. Certainly we’ll have omitted some of your favorites here. Be sure to let us know which ones we forgot in the comments. As if we had to remind you.

Now here’s a quick look at some of the moments we’ll think fondly upon in future days, when we put on our Sarah McLachlan mix tape and dreamily stare at faded photographs of Brittany Palmer and Todd Harris, trying not to wonder how we’ll ever go on.

Chris Leben collapses Mike Swick like goddamn structural engineer
(1/16/2004)

Leben’s WEC middleweight title victory over Swick from January of 2004 is notable for a number of reasons. First, it reminds us that before the Zuffa money came pouring in, the WEC used to hold its events in a weirdo hexagonal cage, almost exclusively in that magical oasis of Lemoore, Calif. Second, it predates either guy’s appearance on “TUF” by more than a year. Third, we felt it was important to include at least one vintage vid for the all the down-ass old-school WEC homies (Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, James Irvin, Lavar Johnson, Olaf Alfonso, et. al. ) who didn’t make this list.

Also interesting that in the above brief highlights of their two-round affair we see the 2004 Leben doing a few things that the 2010 Leben would never, ever do. Things that make you wonder if the 2004 Chris Leben wasn’t the better fighter. At the 54 second mark, it seems Leben sort of pulls guard and starts working for a submission when Swick threatens with a takedown. No, seriously. Not only that but — at about 1:07 — watch him sink a fairly slick rear naked on Swick after dropping him with a left hook. When that doesn’t work, it’s the same-old Crippler. After absorbing six or seven punches to begin the second round, he lands one, which crumples the Swickster. As a reward, Leben gets a dimestore belt and a hug from a pre-terrorist-scarf-and-train-engineer-hat Randy Couture.

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Video Evidence: Watch 19-year-old Michael McDonald’s Impressive WEC Debut


(Propers: Versus.com)

Nineteen-year-old bantamweight phenom Michael McDonald officially became the youngest fighter on the Zuffa, LLC roster on Thursday night with his debut on the undercard of WEC 52. The results no doubt raised some eyebrows in the soon-to-be UFC 135-pound division. If not for Cub Swanson’s epic battle with Mackens Semerzier, this one would’ve been a shoe-in for some TV time. McDonald rolled into this bout with seven straight T/KO victories and a record that would seem to indicate he’s been fighting as a pro since age 16. Is that shit even legal? Anyway, his most recent back-to-back victories over WEC vets Manny Tapia and Cole Escovedo at Taichi Palace were good enough to score him a contract with the big show and the kid doesn’t disappoint here.

McDonald looks a little bit like a very emaciated Joe Riggs during his pre-fight interviews, as he laughs off opponent Clint Godfrey’s suggestion that he won’t be ready for this level of competition. The South Dakota boy Godfrey — who trusty CagePotato commenter Karma Ate My Cat told us not to sleep on before we started taping this week’s Bum Rush – looks game, but ultimately overmatched in his second fight in the big blue cage. Obviously you know who wins but some play-by-play spoilers are after the jump, so if you’re gonna pitch a bitch about that watch the video before reading on.

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So, Is the UFC-WEC Merger Good for Everybody Except the Hardcore Fans?


(Take a good look, people. It’s the last time you’ll be seeing stuff like this for free. PicProps: InsideHoops.com)

OK, wait just a goddamned minute. There’s some sleight of hand going on here, isn’t there? Ever since Dana White organized another of his can’t-miss, super-special, earth-shattering, blow-your-fuckin’-mind announcement conference calls yesterday to let us know that the insatiable goatsucker that is the UFC will soon devour the scared gazelle of the WEC, people have been blowing nonstop smoke up our asses about how great this is going to be. And yeah, in a lot of ways it will be great. Specifically, it’ll be great for the fighters – except most WEC lightweights, who’ll certainly be fired as soon as they lose their first UFC fights — since the little guys finally get the long overdue opportunity to be UFC fighters, get UFC groupies and bank UFC paychecks. That’s all fine and good. Seriously, those guys deserve it.

But what about us? What about the hardcore fans who have been religiously tuning in to the WEC over the last couple of years to see what have consistently been the best shows in the industry? I mean, we’re kinda getting screwed on this deal, right? Granted, we’re no mathematicians, but it’s unclear how Zuffa reducing its programming on Versus from nine shows during 2010 to four shows during 2011 means anything other than fewer free fights for the fans. And let’s be honest, the UFC is absorbing the WEC for one reason only: So it can charge us for something we used to get for free.

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Jose Aldo Turned Down a UFC Lightweight Bout With Kenny Florian in December


(Well that explains why he’s so vicious. Apparently Dede keeps Aldo chained up in the basement and feeds him nothing but raw meat between fights.)

Jose Aldo revealed to Tatame today that he turned down the opportunity to move up a weight class to take on UFC lightweight Kenny Florian in December.

According to Aldo, who has fought as a lightweight before, after talking it over with his managers, Ed Soares and Joinha and his coach, Andre Pederneiras they came to the conclusion that the timing wasn’t right for him to make the move up to 155, partially because it takes time to put on the mass required to move up a weight class and also because he doesn’t want to have to fight any of his Nova Uniao teammates.

"Actually I started in a lighter division, then changed to this one and tried the division above, but it’s up to [Andre] Dedé [Pederneiras] and he knows better," Aldo explained. "When I was fighting on the division above he thought there were many people of the gym on that division, and on my division there’s me and Marlon [Sandro] and I can play pretty hard on this one and I’m the champion, so I think it’s best for me to stay on this weight division."

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Aldo-Hominick Tentatively Planned for January WEC Featherweight Title Bout if ‘The Machine’ Recovers From Broken Hand


(Hominick may be next in line to try to crack Aldo’s seemingly impenetrable armor in January.)

WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo revealed in an interview with Tatame over the weekend that his next scheduled bout will be against former TKO featherweight champion Mark Hominick in January.

"Whoever it is, [I] always respect everyone," Aldo said. "We already have a defense in January, [and it] will be against Mark Hominick, a Canadian [who is] very good at kickboxing."

Aldo seemed a bit unsure about whether or not the fight with "The Machine" is a sure thing so we contacted Hominick’s longtime mentor and trainer Shawn Tompkins today to find out if the fight is a go.

Tompkins tells us that his charge is still in a cast recovering from a broken hand he suffered training for his impressive victory over Leonard Garcia at WEC 51 last month.

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Manny Gamburyan Might Be a Bit Delusional


(Don’t you know who my cousin is, bro?)

Now, I know fighters sometimes say ludicrous things in the heat of the moment when hyping upcoming fights, like Mir saying he wanted Brock to suffer the first Octagon-related death and Mike Tyson saying he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children, but for some reason none of those remarks seem as asinine to me as something Manny Gamburyan said during an interview with MMAWeekly radio yesterday.

When asked about his upcoming WEC 51 fight Thursday night with featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who has drawn comparisons to Anderson Silva for his dangerous and flashy muay thai skills, Gamburyan had the following to say:

“If they’re comparing him to Anderson Silva, they should compare me with Fedor," Gamburyan said without cracking up. "If he’s Anderson Silva, most definitely, I’m Fedor.”

Sure you’re Fedor, Manny — if Fedor wasn’t as good as he is, if he dropped a decision to Thiago Tavares and if he got KTFO by Rob Emerson.

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Exclusive: ‘Razor’ Rob McCullough Talks About Life, Family, His Fall From the Top and His Climb Back to the Big Leagues


(‘Razor’ is looking to get back to the top, no matter what it takes.)

Three years ago “Razor” Rob McCullough was on top of the world. The WEC champion was riding a nine-fight winning streak of which eight were finishes and there seemed to be no end to his run.

Then it happened.

In the third round of his second title defense, it seemed like McCullough was close to finishing Jamie Varner. Before he could go for the kill, Varner spit out his mouthgard and got a timeout to rinse it off, which allowed him to recover. Soon after, “The Worm” caught “Razor” with a handful of punches and won via TKO.

Four fights later McCullough was fired from the WEC without much explanation, in spite of the fact that he split them 2-2.

Since being unceremoniously dropped by the promotion, Razor Rob has gone 2-0 under the Tachi Palace Fights banner and most recently defeated UFC veteran Corey Hill last weekend by unanimous decision.

According to the former WEC lightweight champ, who is enjoying life sober, married and as a father of a six-month-old son, says he’s doing what he has to do to get back on the roster of a major organization, which he reveals is likely to happen soon and he says he’ll fight anyone who wants to fight him.

We caught up with Razor this week and spoke candidly and at length about a variety of topics including his childhood, his life, his family, his new goals as a fighter and the business of MMA.

I’ll warn you that the interview is very lengthy, but it’s worth the read if you have time as it reveals a personal, thoughtful and mature side of McCullough that fans rarely get a glimpse of in his pre-fight interviews.

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The WEC is Not Impressed With Donald Cerrone’s Loose Lips


(Listen, man. I’m gonna make this up to ya’. I won’t kill ya’ and I’ll be your date for my afterparty.)

In the future, like most major corporations, the UFC and WEC will likely hand out employee handbooks to new signees that list behavioural expectations.
On the "DO" list will be things like:

"Hype a fight at all costs, no matter how uninteresting. You may call your opponent a bitch and mention that you want to hurt him if it helps to hype the fight."

and 

"Sit out a year if it means you will hold your place in line for the next title shot when the injured champion of your division returns."

On the "DON’T" list will be things like:

"Pull out of a fight due to injury and agree to appear in a movie, no matter how much you need the money and if that is the case, don’t talk about how poor you may be."

and 

"Mention in an interview that you want your opponent to die inside the Octagon or insinuate or proclaim that he is a homosexual."

Until they start handing out the manual, they are no doubt going to have to keep apologizing for not only the bad behavior, but also the stupid remarks made by their fighters like Frank Mir and Donald Cerrone.

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Reminder: WEC 49 Airs Live Tonight at 9 p.m. EST


(Kamal Shalorus vehemently objects to your plans to watch “Cold Case” tonight. PicProps: Sherdog)

Sure, after UFC 115, Strikeforce: LA, Bellator 22 and the “TUF 11” Finale, it’ll be the fifth MMA show in fewer than 10 days but that doesn’t make WEC 49 any less deserving of your attention, does it? I mean, it’s Sunday night, what else are you going to do? Tuck in at a decent hour so you can get started being “FIRST!” in the comment section bright and early Monday morning?

After a litany of injuries, a loss to current champ Ben Henderson and a significant number of fans calling him a faker following his bout with Donald Cerrone last January, former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner is pretty much in a must-win situation against Kamal Shalorus tonight. Officially, Varner is 5-1 in his last six fights but his reputation has seen better days. Unfortunately, Shalorus — the former Olympic wrestler and undefeated MMA prospect — will provide a pretty stiff test. Toss in the return of featherweight phenom Josh Grispi from injury and this starts shaping up as a decent show. Besides, yours truly will be doing a “live Twitter” thing of this event for @VsMMA, so I know you’ll be following that …

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Jens Pulver Is Officially Unemployed

Jens Pulver Monte Cox
(That’s the fight game, Jens. You turn your back for one second, and your wife has her hands all over Monte Cox’s enormous stomach. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

For the second time in his 11-year fight career, Jens Pulver‘s relationship with Zuffa has ended. Dana White confirmed over the weekend that Pulver has been released by the WEC, following five consecutive losses over the last two years. Though there were rumors that Lil’ Evil would be taking over color commentary duties for the organization in the wake of Frank Mir’s departure, that’s not the case either. "We had talked about Jens being a part of the WEC somehow, but he’s not broadcasting," White said. For the WEC’s upcoming "Varner vs. Shalorus" event (June 20, Edmonton), the fighter-commentator spot will be filled by Kenny Florian.

Unfortunately, Jens isn’t one of those guys who can simply retire. A father of two children, he needs to fight to make a living. As he told CagedIn: “I’m a fighter. Fact is, I’ve been around a lot longer than these guys today, and I don’t make as much money [as] them. I’m 0-5, and that’s something I’ve got to fix with me, but I can’t take a year off to work on it. I’ve gotta fight.” The first 155-pound champion in UFC history, Pulver’s sole victory in the last four years was his quick choke-out of Cub Swanson at WEC 31 back in December 2007.

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