May 19th, Lemoore , CA -To sum up the WEC's 15th installment in one word would simply be "wow"! The two much-hyped main events actually lived up to the talk and more as James Irvin Squared off with Dough Marshall and Poppies Martinez took on Cole Escovedo, while the rest of the card was filled with UFC veterans from top to bottom. Again, what a show!
May 19th, Lemoore , CA -To sum up the WECs 15th installment in one word would simply be "wow"! The two much-hyped main events actually lived up to the talk and more as James Irvin Squared off with Dough Marshall and Poppies Martinez took on Cole Escovedo, while the rest of the card was filled with UFC veterans from top to bottom including Chris Lytle and Joe Riggs. Again, what a show!
In the main event, Doug Marshall and James Irvin put on a fight of non-stop fireworks , leaving not one fan in attendance of the sold out show in their seat. It was no secret that these two fighters did not like each other, and it showed as both fighters came out swinging. Irvin got the better of the stand up with great Muay Thai strikes, even dropping Rhino to his back with one kick to the leg.
After another knockdown by Irvin, this time with a punch, Irvin looked for the finish as he jumped on Rhino and attempted an armbar, which failed landing Marshall on top. Rhino was able to GnP Irvin enough to open a cut above Irvins eye, leaving everyone worried that the fight would be stopped. Luckily for everyone in attendance, the fight was allowed to continue. In the second round, Irvin went to the clinch quickly, where he was able to land a devastating knee to the chin of Marshall , knocking him out cold and giving Irvin the victory by KO at 38 seconds of the second round. Irvin told the crowd that he will be entering the 205 pound division, so look for him to be a force there.
In the co-main event, Poppies Martinez took on Cole Escovedo in another grudge match, this time for the WEC Lightweight Native American Championship belt. Most people thought Cole would walk all over Poppies, but it was almost the other way around and Poppies was able to keep the fight standing and land several blows that connected on Cole, almost knocking him out. Throughout the fight, Cole was landing thai kicks to Poppies leg, which eventually slowed down the Tai Chi Kid. In the second, Cole connected with 3 more thai kicks in a row, one of which seemed to put Poppies in excruciating pain. Poppies did a good acting job of trying to continue the fight, but referee Josh Rosenthal had seen enough, giving Cole the win by TKO at around the one minute mark of round 2. Again, this writer would like to point out that Cole Escovedo vs. Urijah Faber is the one fight at 145 in CA that we need and want to see.
Coming off a disappointing loss in his last UFC performance, Joe Riggs was looking to come back and make a statement that he is still a top contender in the 185 pound division. Although his opponent Rob Kimmons was not at the top of the 185 pound chain, Riggs was able to make his statement as he took Kimmons down immediately and proceeded to land elbows and punches from within the guard of Kimmons, knocking him out cold at only one 1:24 of the first round. Look for Riggs to be back in UFC 54, possibly against David Terrell.
Chris Lytle was not himself on this night, as he took on late replacement Pat Healy, who gave him a run for his money. Lytle one the first round convincingly, but seemed to gas in the second round, which was where Healy landed in top position landing decent strikes for the remainder of the fight. Most people in attendance felt that Healy took two of the three rounds, however, the Judges saw it as a Split Decision victory for Lytle. Although not a convincing win by any means, Lytle rebounds from his last UFC appearance.
Another UFC veteran, Richard Crunkleton, was making his firstappearance since his fight with Hermes Franca in the UFC over 2 years ago. Crinklington used an amazing ankle pic, coupled with submission attempts and GnP to get the TKO victory over Paul Jenkins at the 2:36 mark of the second round. Look for Crunklington to be back on the map in the 155 lb. Division.
Fan favorite Justin Levins has acquired quite the cult following in the Central Valley with his aggressive fighting style along with the skills to match it. Levins took on Tony Lopez in a one sided fight that saw Levins drop Lopez with an overhand right, a nearly secured Kimura, and finally a rear naked choke at only 3:46 of the first round. Levins is definitely one of the best up and coming fighters in the 205 pound division. Look for big things to come from Levins in the near future.
In the very first fight of the evening, Jay Hieron took on Adam Lynn in what could have been a main event. Hieron, who is best known for losing to George St. Pierre in UFC 48, was able to dominate this fight by landing nice strikes and executing takedowns at will. Hieron gets the Unanimous decision nod over Adam Lynn after 3 rounds.
In other action, Lavar "Big" Johnson KOs Carlos Garcia at 1:09 of the first round with vicious combinations, Tony Alanis defeated Johnny Fablea by TKO at 3:21 of the first, Steve Ramirez defeated Anthony Gonzales by rear naked choke at 4:38 of the first, Josh Green choked out Miguel Cosio at 40 seconds of the first round, Casio Werneck defeated Tony Imada by Triangle choke at 2:54 of the second round, and finally, Thomas Shulte defeated Raven Seymon by Triangle choke at 1:29 of the first round.