Saturday, November 13, 2010


I almost missed this one as I had completely forgotten the date, which is why I didn't post my predictions. Good thing I remembered at the last minute, though, because this was certainly another great night of fights, which is pretty typical for the WEC.


I'm a huge Urijah Faber fan, so I was pushing for him all the way on this one. This is the first time he's competing at Bantamweight, though (135 lbs), so it would be interesting to see if the weight cut would affect him in any way. Would he be weakened like Jake Shields was recently, or would he feel more refreshed than he was at Featherweight (145 lbs)?
Urijah Faber finishes Takeya Mizugaki with a Rear Naked Choke 

It was the latter, as Faber seemed full energy and possibly moved quicker than usual. Mizugaki's a tough fighter with plenty of heart, though, so he's not someone to be trifled with. Both fighters come swinging, but the fight eventually gets pinned onto the fence. I expected Faber to out-muscle Mizugaki here and get the upper hand all the way, because I thought the strength difference was too huge, but Mizugaki proved me wrong. He reversed Faber several times and seemed to give him a difficult time, at least briefly.

Faber eventually gets Mizugaki's back and settles in a Rear Naked Choke. Mizugaki, again, is known for his heart, so he tries everything and absolutely does not tap. Faber puts him to sleep and wins his Bantamweight debut!


Chad Mendes performing a "Rolling Attack" 
The entire fight was almost entirely the same thing: a ground battle with Mendes on top and Vazquez on the bottom. Neither fighter seemed too bothered by this, though, which isn't too surprising since Mendes is a wrestler and Vazquez is a BJJ black belt. What did surprise me was how supportive the crowd was of this fight. Unlike many UFC events I've witnessed, the crowds cheered the whole time despite the fact that Mendes was pretty much resorting to the "lay and pray" strategy general despised by critics (including myself) a lot of the time.

In any case, despite being on his back most of the first round, Vazquez stayed very active by throwing hooks, elbows, boxing Mendes' ears and attempting several submissions. Mendes just seemed very inactive most of the time, except for a slam that didn't shake Vazquez's guard one bit. Vazquez stayed active enough the entire time such that referee Herb Dean didn't see the need to stand them up.

Mendes attempted to spice things up during the second round by performing a flip attack against Vazquez. Instead of the usual downward Superman punch, Mendes somersaulted onto Vazquez, possibly in an attempt to immediately wind up in side mount, but failed to get the positioning he desired. Vazquez catches him and gets his back, but Mendes reverses position and winds up once again on top by rolling. So that's what Blanka's Rolling Attacks look like in real life!
Chad Mendes executing a flying knee

Unfortunately, much of the rest of the round fell prey to Mendes "lay and pray" and Vazquez, seeming to succumb to the fatigue caused by Mendes heavily pressing against him for two rounds, slowed down considerably.

The third round was mostly the same, except that Mendes became more and more aggressive with his ground and pound, as was very evident from Javier Vazquez's bloodied face. Mendes, once again, spent almost the entire round on top of Vazquez, which earned him a unanimous decision (30 - 27, 30 - 27, 30 - 27) victory. 

I don't really blame Mendes for the strategy he employed during the fight, since Vazquez was the one baiting him to go to the ground a lot of the time. Mendes actually wanted to separate several times while on the ground, but Vazquez kept insisting on keeping him there and boxing his ears. Considering his wrestling pedigree, Mendes a tremendous job in this fight, and Vazquez should really have revised his game plan a bit, especially after the first round. He should have attempted more daring submission attempts throughout, though I admit that such a feat would be very difficult against an expert wrestler laying on top of you.

Check out more amazing photos of WEC 52 at the official WEC website!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...