Today marked the beginning of the end of an era: wec 52 “Faber vs. Mizugaki” is now a thing of the past, with the promotion itself soon to be in the history books as well. In the main event of the evening, the man who initially put the WEC on the map defiantly proved that he wasn’t going down without a fight, as former long-reigning WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber made a dominant statement when he debuted at Bantamweight and choked out former championship challenger Takeya Mizugaki. Here are the full results as well as my thoughts on “Faber vs. Mizugaki”.
Courtesy of MMA Mania: Urijah Faber defeats Takeya Mizugaki via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:50 of round one. Joseph Benavidez defeats Wagnney Fabiano via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:45 of round two. Erik Koch defeats Francisco Rivera via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:36 of round one. Chad Mendes defeats Javier Vazquez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Demetrius Johnson defeats Damacio Page via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:27 of round three. Dustin Poirier defeats Zack Micklewright via technical knockout (strikes) at 0:53 of round one. Michael McDonald defeats Clint Godfrey via submission (armbar) at 2:42 of round one. Cub Swanson defeats Mackens Semerzier via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). Raphael Assuncao defeats L.C. Davis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Anthony Njokuani defeats Edward Faaloloto via technical knockout (strikes) at 4:54 of round two. Yves Jabouin defeats Brandon Visher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I’d just once again like to state how 2010 was a banner year for the WEC. This event didn’t disappoint, and it was another fine entry in the story of the “little-promotion-that-could” and the performers that will soon make their rightly-justified debut in the world’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion. There was honestly not a whole lot to dislike in this event, we saw some incredible finishes and some amazing wars. Page vs. Johnson was the archetypal show opening, and I mean that with only the positive in mind: it was fast, it had a bit of everything, it featured two skilled opponents, and it saw a finish.
River/Koch and Benavidez/Fabiano were two great matches as well. Erik Koch proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s the real deal, and he’s certainly put himself firmly into the mix and should be a major player when the UFC/WEC merger comes through. Likewise, Benavidez proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you absolutely, positively should not sleep on his ground game, or else you’ll suffer the consequences. The way he was able to submit such a highly-lauded grappler just astounds me. He may never beat Dominick Cruz, but you should never, ever count out Joseph Benavidez.
When it comes to Urijah Faber, I think I’ve gone out of my way to say how hopeful I was that the man had a comeback inside of him. Part of me knew I was right, but to be perfectly honest, part of me did hold some doubts as to whether or not Faber’s drop down in weight would hinder his performance. Instead, what we got was vintage “California Kid”, and I couldn’t be happier that Faber took the first big step on the long road back to a championship. No matter what the future holds for Urijah Faber, I’ll certainly be pulling for him.
The same goes for the WEC as a whole: no matter how the UFC/WEC merger ends up playing out, I’ll always think positive. As the final chapter draws to a close, WEC 52 was one to remember. And I’ll always remember the WEC as a promotion so good that I literally adopted the role of town crier because it astounded me that so many MMA fans were potentially missing out on all this great action.
And what about you, fans and friends? How did you feel about the event?