World Extreme Cagefighting took place at the Palace Casino in Lemoore California, and treated the fans to nine fights with only one of them going the distance. The main event of the evening pitted up and comer Cole "The Apache Kid" Escovedo against veteran Phillip Perez ...
World Extreme Cagefighting took place at the Palace Casino in Lemoore California, and treated the fans to nine fights with only one of them going the distance. The main event of the evening pitted up and comer Cole "The Apache Kid" Escovedo against veteran Phillip Perez for both the IFC and WEC 145 pound titles. The fight, which was billed as the "Battle for Fresno" had unleashed some bad blood between Escovedos Pacific Martial Arts camp and Perezs Team Fresno. These two were looking forward to getting in the cage and settling the score. The fight lived up to the hype, and gave the fans all they could hope for.
In the first fight of the evening Judo/BJJ expert David Camarillo faced off against Justin Weiman. David Camarillo had his moments in the three round fight with good attempts at both a triangle choke and armbar, but couldnt quite secure either one. Weiman used what looked to be slightly better cardio conditioning, and finished strong in the third round to secure a close split decision victory.
The next fight of the evening matched Gabe Ruediger with Sam Wells. Ruediger started off nicely with a quick takedown followed by a guillotine attempt. Sam Wells would eventually score a big slam of Ruediger for his choke attempt. It was clear that Wells was the better of the two while they were standing, and used this advantage to land a big right at 4:22 of the first round that left Ruediger on his back, and referee Josh Rosenthal to stop the fight.
Alex "The Blade" Khanbabian and Alex Chu-chung were next up, and this fight didnt last too long. Khanbabian used what looked to be a considerable strength advantage to pin Chu-chung up against the fence and reign down punches on him until the referee stopped the fight at 1:43 of the first round.
Cesar Gracie student Gilbert Melendez was next up to make his pro debut against late replacement Gary Quan. The match started off quickly with Quan running towards Melendez and attempting a flying knee that he missed right at the opening bell. The two then proceeded to square off standing until Melendez score a double leg takedown. From there it was all Melendez as he reigned down punches to Quans head. To Quans credit he did fight back, but eventually gave his back to his opponent. Melendez did try to get the rear naked choke, but had to settle for punches to the back of the head until Quan tapped at 4:37 of round one.
Diallo Baza against Chris Mooney was next up on the card. These two both looked to be in tremendous physical shape, and it was Mooney who came out quickly trying to surprise Baza before he could get going. The first round ended up being more of a back and forth standup round with Baza landing the cleaner shots, and Mooney looking like he was starting to tire. When the second round started, Baza succeeded in getting a double leg takedown on Mooney. From there he was able to attain the mount position, and started landing shots to Mooneys head. Mooney eventually gave his back to Baza, and Baza attempted to apply a rear naked choke. He could never quite secure the choke and eventually started to throw shots to the head of Mooney, which made the referee stop the fight at 1:55 of the second round.
Last minute replacement Tim Kennedy was next to face Mack Brewer. Kennedy did not waste any time as he landed a big slam of Brewer that momentarily had Kennedy stuck in a guillotine attempt. Kennedy worked his way free and proceeded to throw numerous punched to the back of the head of Brewer until the referee stopped the fight at 1:03 of round one.
Richard "Cleat" Crunkilton, who is undefeated, was next into the cage to face Victor Estrada. Crunkilton comes in riding a wave of success that eventually could land him in the UFC. The fight started with Crunkilton looking to be a little cautious which Estrada took advantage of landing a huge right cross that put Crunkilton to a knee on the canvas. Estrada looked to take immediate advantage of this by throwing a few more punches, applying a tight guillotine and jumping to guard. Crunkilton who looked almost out on his feet managed to finally squeeze his head out of the attempt. From there the two fighters scrambled back to there feet. Crunkilton then attempted a double leg takedown that ended up having Estrada land awkwardly on his right ankle. As soon as Estrada landed on the mat he immediately turned his back to Crunkilton in obvious pain. Crunkilton was not aware of this, and proceeded to throw kicks and punches to Estrada until the referee pulled him away at 1:13 of the first round.
Jeff Bedard and Antonio Banuelos were next to square off in what would turn out to be the quickest fight of the night. The fight started off with Bedard getting a quick double leg takedown that put him in a position to apply a guillotine choke on Banuelos. Banuelos tried for a few moments to fight out of it, but eventually tapped at :47 of the first round.
Next up was the main event of the evening between Cole "The Apache Kid" Escovedo and Phillip Perez. You could definitely tell that the crowd had been waiting for this fight all night long because of the sense of anticipation that you could feel in the air. With the event being held in Lemoore California it was only a short drive away for residents of Fresno to come support either of their favorite hometown fighters. As the two waited for the fight to start you could tell that both of them were very anxious to get it going. The referee had to tell both fighters numerous times to stay back in their respective corners. I dont event think the bell was finished ringing before the two were standing in front of each other squared off. Escovedo landed a quick straight left which opened up a cut under Perezs eye, and almost put him on the floor. Escovedo might have hesitated to admire his work, and this gave Perez enough time to secure a double leg takedown. Perez landed in Escovedos guard, and started to throw punches and elbows to his opponents face while Escovedo tried for numerous submission attempts including his triangle choke and armbar. Philip Perez cut continued to flow more blood and the fight was momentarily stopped for the doctor to check on it. The fight was allowed to continue and once again the two were in the middle of the cage squared off. Escovedo did not even give Perez a chance to mount any offense as he landed a high kick to Perezs head that definitely stunned him. Perez once again succeeded in getting a double leg takedown, but was quickly worked into position for Esovedo to apply his signature triangle choke. Perez eventually tapped at 3:07 of the first round. In a show of great sportsmanship Escovedo helped Perez to his feet and hugged him after their great fight. This fight was definitely the litmus test to see if Escovedo was the real deal, and he passed with flying colors. Cole "The Apache Kid" Escovedo is the new WEC and IFC 145 pound champion.
With this being my second WEC event that I have covered I must say that they just keep on getting better and better. Promoter Scott Adams has to be commended for the production qualities of the show, and how smoothly it ran. There was one school that had three of their fighters on the card that did not show up. The show proceeded very smoothly and replacements were found for a majority of those fights. If you live close enough to go to these shows, or just want to go to a show that you know you will enjoy. I highly recommend that you attend one of these shows. It was a good night of exciting fights, and I definitely look forward to the next event.