Sunday, August 3, 2008

WEC 35: Condit vs. Miura A Fight for the Ages

WEC 35 lived up to its billing and then some. Three title fights and a night full of action packed fights, what more could a MMA fan ask for? The fighters are not as well known to most casual observers of the sport, but if you are a sports fan and interested in learning about MMA, catching one of the WEC events on Versus will make you a fan. For some reason no WEC fights ever go to decision. I was on the edge of my seat for the Condit/Miura four round war and this is one of those rare instances when describing a sporting event in military terms is absolutely not hyperbole. The fight went back and forth with both fighters holding periods of extreme dominance, but whenever you thought the fight was about to be finished the man on the bottom would somehow spring back to life and land a straight right or reverse out of a submission. Ultimately, Miura succumbed to a knee from Condit, but not after earning the respect of the Las Vegas crowd and showing the Samurai spirit he brought with him from the land of the rising sun. Right now that fight beats the Miguel Torres/Yoshiro Maeda fight from earlier this year, also a WEC fight, which everyone believes was the fight of the year so far. At the end of the fight both fighters lay sprawled out on the canvas, hands above their heads gasping for air as if it was their last breath. Condit was so exhausted he could barely eek out a few sentences in the post fight interview. The other two championship fights were also great. Jamie Varner battered Marcus Hicks into submission and Steve Cantwell avenged his previous loss to Brian Stann. My final word is about Brian Stann and the class he showed after his loss. Prior to tonight’s fight there were a number of verbal barbs exchanged between Stann and Cantwell, but after Cantwell's hand was raised Stann came over and put the belt around Cantwell's waist himself. That act of respect and humility is something we rarely see in today's sports world and he should be praised for it. Hopefully more up and comers will show such respect in defeat.

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