Heavy.com is live in Las Vegas, Nevada for World Extreme Cagefighting’s second to last event, “WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki“.
The first event since the UFC-WEC merger was announced, WEC 52 features the WEC’s biggest star, Urijah Faber, who is set to fight in the blue gloves for the last time after an enormously successful career with the promotion. His opponent, former bantamweight contender Takeya Mizugaki, is set to welcome “The California Kid” to the 135lbs division.
Also on the card, featherweight prospect Chad Mendes and submission ace Javier Vazquez face off, while the former bantamweight top contender Joseph Benavidez matches up against Wagnney Fabiano. Filling out the remainder of the televised portion of the event, Demetrious Johnson and Damacio Page clash at the 135lbs mark and featherweights Erik Koch and Francisco Rivera will step into the cage shortly after.
HeavyMMA.com will be bringing you live results from the main card of “WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki” throughout the evening beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Damacio Page
Round 1: Josh Rosenthal gets us started for this three round bantamweight match up, and the two fighters touch gloves to start. Johnson lands a nice left hook, but Page comes rushing forward, landing a big knee. Johnson pulls him to the ground and is looking to pass. He looks for a guillotine, but decides against it. Back to the feet, and Page is throwing hard. Leg kick lands for Johnson. He looks to clinch, but Page throws him and lands in side control. Knees landing from page, as Johnson looks to lock up an arm to move to half guard. Johnson is tying page up right now. But Page advances to full mount with 2:30 to go in the round. Elbows from Page, but Johnson seems composed from the bottom. Nice escape from Johnson forces a scramble. Page looks for a guillotine, but lets it go. Another throw and Page nearly lands in the full mount yet again. Johnson reverses and slams Page, looking to score some ground strikes. Page works back up and gets a big slam of his own. Good back-and-forth action thus far. Johnson works for guard and he gets it. 30 seconds and Page is looking to end with ground and pound. Johnson ties him up and avoids any damage. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Page.
Round 2: Page comes out fast and lands some nice shots. Johnson defends well enough, though, and the fighters clinch against the cage. Page thinking takedown and he gets it, but Johnson nearly gets up. After a brief struggle he does and sends a kick right to the groin of Page, who rightfully drops to the ground. Painful. Page is taking his time and who can blame him? A few minutes go by and we get a restart. Johnson attempting to stay quick on the feet. Page looks ready to explode at any moment. He goes for a knee and Johnson times a takedown perfectly. Johnson ends in Page’s guard, dropping elbows down on his opponent. Page throwing elbows from the bottom, but Johnson is looking to take his back. Page escapes and we’re back to the feet. But, just as I say that, Johnson immediately earns another takedown. He is looking to advance, but Page is fending him off with a butterfly guard. Page nearly escapes, but Johnson quickly goes back to his guard. Under a minute to go. Johnson scoring a few shots from on top and then moves to mount. Page tries to escape and Johnson nearly lands an illegal knee. Fortunately for him, he does not, and the round comes to a close. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Johnson.
Round 3: Round starts with the fighters engaging in the center, but it is not Page who gets the better. Shots land for Johnson and a leg kick sends Page to his back. Johnson on top now in half guard tagging Page, who appears exhausted. Page is looking for a kimura, but Johnson is smothering him, looking for side control. Page forces in butterfly hooks, and now Johnson is slowing down. Page rolls over and Johnson ends up on top in north-south. He locks on a guillotine. Page rolls to his back and is forces to tap out.
Official Decision: Johnson d. Page via submission, round 3
Matt Brown: Demetrious Johnson is a good batnamweight fighter. He’s going to be a GREAT flyweight fighter when the UFC brings in a 125 pound class. What an exciting fighter.
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Joseph Benavidez
Round 1: Fighters circle for the first 20 seconds. Benavidez lands a nice one-two combination, followed by a kick. He’s looking fast as ever. Fabiano lands a nice shot, followed by a kick of his own. However, Benavidez throws another combination and then another kick. Leg kick lands flush for Fabiano, while Benavidez continues to move forward. Nothing significant landed thus far. Head kick blocked by Fabiano, and Benavidez falls to his back. He jumps back up, but takes a leg kick by Fabiano. The Brazilian throws another kick of his own and, like Benavidez, slips, but jumps back up. These mats don’t have much traction apparently. Pace slows with two minutes to go. Another head kick by Benavidez barely blocked by Fabiano, who lands a nice body shot. Benavidez looks about ready to unleash on his opponent. Nice combination lands for him, but Fabiano avoids any damage. Fighters clinch briefly, but Benavidez separates and throws a head kick. 20 seconds to go and nothing significant has landed for either fighter thus far. Head kick lands for Fabiano and Benavidez comes back with a combo of his own to end the round. Very close opening frame. Could really go either way.
Round 2: Benavidez comes out strong, and Fabiano tries to throw a kick, but slips to the floor. Fabiano stands up and looks for a takedown, but falls into a guillotine choke. He escapes, but Benavidez ends up on top. He disengages for a moment, but shoots right back in, looking for a submission. Fabiano nearly gets submitted, but reverses to get on top in half guard. Great escape for Fabiano, but Benavidez reverses and gets right back on top. He looks for another guillotine. It’s tight, and Fabiano is forced to tap out to the Team Alpha male member.
Official Decision: Benavidez d. Fabiano by submission, round 3
Matt Brown: Joe Benavidez chokes out the BJJ black belt with a really tight guillotine. I think there’s little doubt that he has proven he’s a legit top 3 bantamweight. Very impressive.
Erik Koch vs. Franciso Rivera
Round 1: Koch throws a head kick to start, but Rivera blocks it. Leg kick misses for Koch and he is looking quite loose out there. Rivera, not so much. The fighters exchange body shots, but quickly disengage. Koch pawing at the lead hand of Rivera, who moves forward with two right hooks. He misses a big right hook, and Koch lands a leg kick. Once again, the two exchange kicks, but Koch follows with a jab. And another. Head kick lands for Koch and it floors Rivera. Koch jumps on the change and pounds away at Rivera, earning the stoppage. Koch shows why he was originally slated to fight current top contender Josh Grispi.
Official Decision: Koch d. Rivera by TKO, round 1
Matt Brown: Erik Koch might be the most underrated fighter in the entire WEC. At just 21 years of age, there is a very bright future for the Duke Roufus student.
Chad Mendes vs. Javier Vazquez
Round 1: Short feeling-out process kicks the co-main event off, but Mendes shoots off a head kick to start the action. He rushes in with a combination, and Vazquez looks for a takedown. Mendes throws him off and down to the ground. He lands a few leg kicks before Vazquez stands back up. Quick takedown for Mendes, and Vazquez slips to the closed guard. He is looking for a rubber guard and he has it. Mendes is trapped here, taking elbows from the bottom. However, he picks him up and slams Vazquez down. Vazquez looking to stay active from the ground, making it difficult for the Team Alpha Male member. Mendes lets a few strikes go, landing a nice punch and an elbow. Rubber guard again from Mendes, and Mendes seems to be a bit confused as to what to do. He lets it go, but immediately looks for a gogoplata or an armbar. He gets neither, but he moves right back to rubberguard. Mendes is trapped on top, taking a few elbows here and there. Mendes postures up with 45 seconds to go, looking to utilize his ground and pound. A few land, but Vazquez manages to avoid the majority. Mendes finishes the round on top. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Mendes.
Round 2: Mendes comes out with a quick leg kick, but the pace immediately slows. Big knee lands for Mendes and he rushes in on Vazquez. Vazquez falls back and utilizes the rubber guard yet again. Slam for Mendes loosens up Vazquez’s grasp. Mendes is trying to get some action going from the top, but Vazquez is controlling him very well. On the other hand, Vazquez simply cannot get Mendes off of him. Mendes stands up, and Vazquez tries to keep distance with the upkick. Mendes attempts to flip over the guard with an absolutely incredible move and a crazy scramble ensues. Vazquez gets on top, but Mendes rolls back into dominant position. The fight moves back to the feet after a stalemate on the ground, and Vazquez pushes forward. No shots land within the final 10 seconds. Vazquez surely must understand he is losing this fight. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Mendes.
Round 3: Mendes once again comes out with a nice combination, but Vazquez defends nicely. Vazquez misses a big left, and Mendes easily takes the fight down yet again. Vazquez needs to get out of this position or slap on a submission. Mendes stands up, and Vazquez follows. Straight right lands for Mendes, followed by a vicious head kick. He gets the takedown completely effortlessly and is looking for side control. He has Vazquez tied up now. Herb Dean tells Mendes he needs to work, and Mendes looks to land an elbow. That was not enough, and the fighters are stood back up with two minutes to go. Mendes rushes Vazquez, who falls to his back. He needs to do something big soon, or Mendes is going to grind this one out. Rubber guard again from Vazquez, but he has slowed tremendously. Blood from the nose of Vazquez seems to be fueling Mendes, who still seems completely fresh on top. Vazquez looks for the triangle, but Mendes powers through the effort. Shots to the body land for Mendes. 10 seconds to go and the Team Alpha Male fighter lands a few more shots before the bell. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Mendes.
Matt Brown: Chad Mendes continues to improve each and every time he steps into the cage. You must remember, he’s only got nine fights under his belt. His hands have come a long way in a short time.
Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Round 1: Josh Rosenthal once again gets us started, and Faber comes out quickly with a few shots that miss. They almost clinch, but Faber pushes Mizugaki away. Left misses for Mizugaki. One-two lands for Faber, but Mizugaki comes back with a shot of his own. They clinch against the cage, with Faber’s back up against the fence. He reverses and lands a knee. Faber follows up with an elbow and stays all over his opponent. Knee glances Faber for Mizugaki. The fighters are trading shots in the clinch. They separate, and Faber shoots off a nice blow to the head of his opponent. Midway through the first and no one has really made a huge impression. Mizugaki turns Faber up against the cage, but they separate right after. Faber pressing the pace and closing the gap, but Mizugaki counters nicely. Faber comes back with a counter of his own. He is looking for the takedown now, pressing Mizugaki against the cage. Mizugaki reverses, but the fight hits the floor and Faber looks for the guillotine. He elects to move to the back and nearly gets the tap to his standing opponent. Mizugaki falls to the floor, and Faber sinks in a choke. No tap from Mizugaki at first, and Rosenthal pulls Faber off after several seconds. Huge win for the WEC superstar Urijah “The California Kid” Faber.
Official Decision: Faber d. Mizugaki by submission, round 1
Matt Brown: Faber looked every bit as fast and powerful at 135 pounds. That probably spells trouble for most of the division. The weigh cut does not appear to have troubled him one bit. Looks like he might get a shot at Dominick Cruz sooner than later.
In case you missed it, check out all the preliminary card action from earlier this evening. Also, be sure to check out Heavy MMA on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news, coverage, and exclusive giveaways.