Marshall Retains WEC Belt

Undercard Bouts

By Mike Sloan and Dave Mandel May 13, 2007
Lightweights Marcus Hicks and Sergio Gomez wowed the concert hall as they took turns beating up one other for almost two full rounds before Hicks, with a completely swollen-shut left eye, secured a guillotine midway through the second stanza.

Gomez landed a sneaky right hand seconds into the fight, turned that into a slick double-leg takedown and from there the two little giants swept, reversed and tried submissions from every position imaginable. The two expended almost inhuman amounts of energy all the way until the end, which saw Gomez tapping out the guillotine. The official time of the submission came at 3:20 of the second.

Sidney Silva (Pictures), a welterweight from Brazil who now lives in Hawaii, joked that his opponent Tom Speer trains with bulls and cows on a farm up in Minnesota, but he wasn't joking around after the duel ended.

After a relatively uneventful four minutes, Speer knocked Silva completely out with a devastating right hand, followed by three more rights for good measure. Speer set up the knockout by scooping Silva up and slamming him down hard onto the canvas, a move that seemed to steal the wind from his opponent.

Shortly thereafter, Speer delivered a brutal right hand as he stood over a downed Silva. The punch knocked out Silva immediately and referee Josh Rosenthal couldn't stop the action before additional punches found their mark. The official time of the knockout came at 4:33 of round one.

Bantamweight Brandon Foxworth probably has a steel mask hidden underneath the skin on his face because the Minnesotan withstood more punishment than the transmission on John Force's hot rod during an NHRA competition. Manny Tapia (Pictures) dropped Foxworth with a sizzling right cross and it seemed as though Foxworth was knocked out. However, the tough guy from Minnesota was resilient and even though he absorbed about a dozen or so thunderous right hands from the quicker Tapia, he hung tough and kept pulling guard for submission attempts, though he couldn't latch onto his foe long enough to actually score one.

Over and over Tapia slammed his fists onto Foxworth's head, but he just couldn't knock his stubborn nemesis out. The fight looked as though it was going to be stopped on several occasions throughout the opening stanza, but Foxworth continuously did enough to let referee Yves Levigne know that he was still OK to fight away. The round ended with Foxworth a swollen, red-faced mess and it seemed like it wasn't going to last much farther, if at all.

Like the true soldier he is, Foxworth continued on, but his toughness only lasted so long as Tapia's punching power finally bested the gritty Minnesotan. The second round was a little less exciting than the first but eventually Tapia connected with two murderous right hands. Once the second punch landed, Foxworth staggered along the fence and then lazily clinched Tapia. Foxworth was virtually out on his feet and Levigne had seen enough, stopping the massacre at 3:17 of the second.

In what was shaping up to be a memorable war between two explosive lightweights, Ed Radcliff won his bout against Johnny Sampaio in disappointing fashion. Sampaio scored a beautiful single-leg takedown seconds into the contest but Radcliff quickly latched on an armbar. Sampaio snaked his way out of it and turned the tide, seizing Radcliff's back and sinking in a fairly deep rear-naked choke.

Radcliff defended the submission well and after about 30 seconds Sampaio slipped off his foe's back. Soon thereafter, the two fighters clinched in the center of the cage, but when Sampaio tried a judo hip toss, his left knee buckled under the weight.

Sampaio collapsed to the canvas instantly and it was known right then that he blew out his knee. Radcliff was awarded the victory via technical submission at 1:31 of the opening round, an anticlimactic ending to what was going to be a superb fight.

The fight that kicked off the event was a seesaw battle between California's Art Santore (Pictures) and local Vegas kid Eric Schambari. For three rounds, the middleweights fought their hearts out, though the fight itself wasn't a scintillating affair of attrition.

The duel was as close as they come for the majority of the contest, as each man's offense was perfectly offset and countered by the other's defense. Most of the action took place on the ground but neither man was ever in danger of being submitted or taken out via ground-and-pound.

In the end, Schambari had slightly better cardio and did more damage all around than Santore, which allowed him to walk home with his undefeated record intact. Schambari won a unanimous three round decision by the margins of 29-28 and 30-27 (twice).
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