Condit Retains, Filho Claims Title at WEC 29

By Mike Fridley Aug 5, 2007
World Extreme Cagefighting held its second live Versus-televised bill Sunday evening at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, where the organization's welterweight champion Carlos Condit (Pictures) successfully defended his crown. Also, PRIDE import Paulo Filho (Pictures) claimed the vacant WEC middleweight title in front of a sold-out crowd.

Condit needed less than three minutes to retain his 170-pound strap against Brock Larson (Pictures) with a well-executed armbar from the guard.

"It's a weapon that's always in my arsenal," said Condit, who upped his record to 21-4-0. "I got good submissions. I didn't expect to use it, but the opportunity presented itself and I used it."

The end came despite the bulkier Larson (21-2-0) appearing to gain momentum by striking downward from the dominant position. Condit swung his left leg over the Minnesotan's head and extended the challenger's right elbow past the point of no return at 2:21 of the first.

"I was expecting to take this fight to him no matter where it was," Condit declared. "Technique over strength, right there."

Undefeated Paulo Filho (Pictures) made good on his U.S. debut, stopping Canadian Joe Doerksen (Pictures) with strikes at the 4:08 mark of the first frame to claim the vacant WEC 185-pound title.

Filho (15-0-0) looked uncomfortable and slow early in the duel, but his fortune changed late in the first after a wild series of rights and lefts found their target on the Winnipeg native's chin.

Doerksen (39-10-0), who appeared to be cruising before sampling the Brazilian's power, was saved by referee John McCarthy after failing to defend several hard punches while sitting with his back to the cage.

"He came well prepared; he was well prepared on the ground, he defended my takedown well," said Filho. "I let my hands go and finished the fight."

Jeff Curran (Pictures) earned a decisive unanimous nod over Athens, Ga. native Stephen Ledbetter in a slow-paced featherweight contest.

Curran (28-8-1) had Ledbetter (5-1-0) in danger several times during the bout, but the Hardcore Gym fighter weathered the storm each time it rained, and survived many disadvantageous positions, including a deeply sunk reverse triangle.

Judge Lester Griffith scored the action 30-27, while Tony Weeks and Al Lefkowitz had tallies of 29-28.

After the bout, Curran spoke of title ambitions and his desire to face WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (Pictures).

"Anytime I get a chance at Urijah, I'd be honored," said Curran. "He's a stud. Whenever he comes, I'm ready. I'll go."

Arizona Combat Sports' Jamie Varner (Pictures) looked impressive in victory over Sherron Leggett (Pictures), stopping the athletic lightweight with strikes at 4:08 of the opening frame.

After throwing Leggett (13-4-0) savagely on his head, Varner (13-2-0) was penalized a point by referee Steve Mazzagatti for striking the back of the cranium.

Varner quickly put the mistake behind him and put "Rob Roy" away with elbows and right hands, forcing the third man in the octagon to step in at 4:08 of the first.

Dark Bouts

Japanese middleweight Hiromitsu Miura (Pictures) showed a dynamic skill set in his second round submission of KOTC veteran Fernando Gonzalez (Pictures).

Miura, who improved to 7-4-0, landed a flying knee on Gonzalez (12-4-0) in the second round before finishing with a barrage of left hands that forced a tapout just as John McCarthy was rushing in to stop the bout at 3:35 of the second.

Antonio Banuelos (Pictures) pitched a shutout against Justin Robbins (Pictures) (7-3-1) in a 135-pound match-up, earning scores of 30-27 (twice) and 30-26 en route to taking the unanimous decision.

Banuelos (14-4-0) of San Luis Obispo, Calif. dominated with wrestling and ground-and-pound for the duration of the contest and opened up a cut on Robbins' right eye in the third with steady usage strikes on the floor. Judge Lefkowitz saw the first frame 10-8 for Banuelos, while Griffin and Adalaide Byrd offered more accurate tallies of 30-27.

Eric Schambari (Pictures) upped his unblemished record to 7-0-0 with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Logan Clark (Pictures).

Schambari took the fight on the strength of his many takedowns, but Clark, now 7-1-1, was more active from the bottom in each of the first and second rounds, scoring with up-kicks and locking on a gogoplata and an omoplata. All three judges disagreed however, and awarded the contest to Schambari, 29-28.

Steve Cantwell (Pictures) bounced back from his rough WEC debut in March to score an impressive TKO victory over Justin McElfresh (Pictures) in 47 seconds.

McElfresh, who dropped to 5-3-0 with the loss, offered little defense to Cantwell's left hand despite tasting its power several times shortly after the bell. Cantwell, now 4-1-0, strung together a crisp three-punch combination that sent his opponent face first to the canvas, where the Nye County, Nevada light heavyweight pounded away until McCarthy stepped in to show mercy.

Las Vegan Blas Avena (Pictures) (1-1-0) earned a quick submission victory over Tiki Ghosn (Pictures) (9-7-0) at 1:01 of the first.

Avena took Ghosn's back twice during the opening minute before slipping his arm under the Californian's neck on his second attempt to force a tapout from a rear-naked choke.
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