Thursday, January 24, 2008

The 7 Best WEC Knockouts of '07

Originally posted By Thomas Gerbasi on

Everybody loves a knockout, the more emphatic the better, and the WEC delivered on that front in 2007 with some fantastic finishes. Read on for the seven best knockouts of the year.

7 - WEC 26 – March 24 – Charlie Valencia KO1 Antonio Banuelos
After back to back losses to Urijah Faber and Cub Swanson, Charlie Valencia was in need of a win, and he went searching in the bantamweight division for it, but many believed that Chuck Liddell protégé Antonio Banuelos, winner of 10 of his last 11 fights, definitely wasn’t the guy to give him that victory. But for a 135-pounder, Valencia packs some thunder in his gloves and at 3:12 of the first round he introduced that power to Banuelos and knocked him out to get back in the win column.

6 - WEC 26 – March 24 – Brian Stann TKO1 Steve Cantwell
A raw talent who is undoubtedly being groomed for a shot at WEC 205-pound champ Doug Marshall, Stann still keeps his chin too high and no one knows much about his ground game, but when he hits you, it’s probably either going to hurt a lot or send you into dreamtime. Cantwell found that out the hard way when Stann’s right hand dropped him to a 41 second defeat.

5 - WEC 27 – May 12 – Doug Marshall TKO1 Justin McElfresh
Speaking of the big man from California, Marshall headlined the WEC’s May show but didn’t stick around for long, using some hard kicks to the legs to chop down the 6 foot 6 McElfresh and open him up for the bombs that soon came reigning down. Is ‘The Rhino’ the best 205 pounder in the world? Probably not, but if he can put his hands on you, he can get you out of there, and who wouldn’t pay to watch that possibility?

4 - WEC 31 - December 12 – Brian Bowles TKO2 Marcos Galvao
A Jiu-Jitsu ace considered to be among the best 135 pounders on the planet, Galvao came to the WEC with high expectations, but unbeaten newcomer Bowles played spoiler in a big way, following up his win over veteran Charlie Valencia with a stoppage of Galvao, who had no answers for the accurate power shots of the Athens resident, who will make for a great match against WEC champ Chase Beebe if they meet in 2008.

3 - WEC 29 – August 5 – Paulo Filho TKO1 Joe Doerksen
While most believed Paulo Filho would win his WEC debut against Joe Doerksen in August, few thought that he would stop the well-traveled veteran from Canada. But with aggression and pure brute force, Filho announced his arrival to the US in emphatic style, leaving Doerksen barely conscious as the referee jumped in to rescue him late in the first round.

2 - WEC 30 – September 5 – Rob McCullough TKO1 Rich Crunkilton
One of the best ‘unknown’ fighters in the game, Rich Crunkilton had waited for a long time for his moment to shine on the big stage, and his WEC lightweight title shot against Rob McCullough was supposed to be his coming out party. Then he decided to trade with the Muay Thai ace, and things went downhill in a hurry. McCullough showed why he is one of the premier strikers in the game, taking out Crunkilton in a vicious manner. When it was over, no one was going to overlook ‘Razor Rob’ ever again.

1 - WEC 28 – June 3 – Brock Larson KO1 Kevin Knabjian
Ready for a title shot against 170-pound champ Carlos Condit, Larson instead faced late replacement Kevin Knabjian when ‘The Natural Born Killer’ was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury. In response, Larson didn’t sleepwalk to a decision because of a lack of focus or motivation; instead, he tore through Knabjian and sent a message with a knockout that made you rise from your seat and just say ‘whoa, what just happened there?’ The final sequence started with a huge left that dropped Knabjian. Knabjian rose but was immediately shoved into the fence. As he tried to weather the storm, Larson kneed him and began to rain down punches, prompting the stoppage after just 27 seconds. And though Larson would lose his ensuing title shot to Condit, he would have been a tough out for anyone in MMA on the night of June 3rd.



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