Monday, March 24, 2008

WEC 33: Stann vs. Marshall

Wednesday evening WEC 33 will air on the Versus Network. The card was to be headlined with a rematch of Chael Sonnen vs. Paulo Filho from WEC 32 but that bout was cancelled twice since it was announced Filho checked into a clinic for depression and chemical dependency. The other title fight between Doug “The Rhino” Marshall vs. Brian Stann has instead taken its place as the headliner of the event. Also, Kenosha’s Sergio Gomez of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy will also fight against Rich Crunkilton on the undercard.

Doug Marshall

Doug Marshall is the current 205lb Light Heavyweight Champion of the WEC. He is also the least familiar of their champions and easily the most hated by fans. He sports a (7-2) MMA record according to Sherdog and is looking for his third consecutive title defense. Marshall originally fought at heavyweight and only dropped down to the light heavyweight division after Zuffa purchased the WEC and scrapped the heavyweight division altogether. Despite losing two-straight fights against James “Sandman” Irvin and Tim McKenzie in 2005 and 2006, Marshall was offered a title shot against then champion and TUF Season 1 star, Lodune Sincaid in August of 2006. The Rhino defeated Sincaid with a second round knock-out in what was a stand-up bout from start to finish.

In his first title defense, Marshall would fight Justin McElfresh, who was and is the current 205lb Light Heavyweight Champion of the XFO. McElfresh wouldn’t make it out of the first round and suffered the same fate as Sincaid. He was KO’d at 2:16 into the fight. Doug Marshall most recently defeated Cuban refugee Ariel Gandulla at WEC 31 in December of 2007. Gandulla showed up to the weigh-in at less than 200 pounds and lasted only 51 seconds before Marshall showed the world that he was more than just a brawler, finishing Gandulla with a very clean and quick arm bar. All nine of Marshall’s professional fights have been in the WEC and date back to 2003.

Brian Stann

Brian Stann is easily considered the number one contender in the very thin 205lb WEC Light Heavyweight Division. He has 5 professional fights dating back to January of 2006. All but one has been in the WEC and all have been victories. Not a single fight has left the first round and all have been via TKO.

In 2007 he fought 3 fights in the WEC. He most recently fought Jeremiah Billington (10-2) at WEC 30 last September winning via TKO at 3:07. Prior to that he beat Craig Zellner (4-3) who was (4-1) at the time in 4:57 in June. Lastly, he beat Steve Cantwell in March at 41 seconds.


I see this fight as a stand-up slugfest from start to finish. Marshall holds the edge in experience with almost twice as many fights as Stann. Stann however has shown that he is a more technical boxer and striker, while Marshall shows a brawler standup style in his game. Stann has trained with Team Quest and in Big Bear for this bout but his ground game is a complete unknown. Marshall on the other hand has an underrated ground game but the chances are unlikely that this bout hits the canvas unless it’s due to strikes.

Cardio is a big question mark for both fighters as neither has ever gone the distance. Marshall has previously fought at 240lbs, but it doesn’t look like cardio is big factor in his game due to his unorthodox lumpy physique. Stann on the other hand has never had a fight leave the first round. If his training at Big Bear was anything like boot camp, he should be ready to go five tough rounds.

Stann is a former Marine and has done tour of duties twice in Iraq. He been there and hung in the pocket when the shit has hit the fan on the battlefield and most people are expecting that due to his military background he is not going to feel any pressure. It’s apparent that the media is having a field day with him and he has gotten double or triple the amount of coverage as the current champion, Doug Marshall. We’ll see if he feels the pressure.

Both fighters possess a large amount of power and whoever connects with the power shot is going to win. While Marshall has shown he is able to take punishment, he has also proven that he is not immune either, with both of his losses coming via KO and TKO. Stann has not had to weather a big storm yet in any fight so we’ll see how he does against Marshall. I expect this to be a tough battle for both fighters but think it is to close to call. I don’t think that this fight leaves the second round and will end via TKO or KO.

Local Fighters

Sergio Gomez of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy in Kenosha is on the undercard and will fight against Rich Crunkilton. I broke the news about a month ago and wrote a full write-up. Follow the link to read the article:

Breaking News: Sergio Gomez vs. Rich Crunkilton at WEC 33

Illinois fighter, Ryan Stonitsch of Rockford Kickboxing and Jiu-Jitsu will also be fighting on the undercard. Ryan may not be a Wisconsin fighter, but he and Bryce Franck have been making regular trips up to Milwaukee to train at the Duke Roufus Gym getting prepared for this fight. I was lucky enough to roll with Ryan Stonitsch at an open mat a few weeks ago and he was nice enough to give me a few pointers. He will take his undefeated (8-0) MMA record and make his first appearance in the WEC against Russian fighter, Alex Serdyukov. Serdyukov sports a (6-4) MMA record according to Sherdog and is a 5-time WEC vet. Stonitsch has fought in Gladiator and Freestyle Combat Challenge shows in Wisconsin and holds wins over tough Wisconsin fighters Jon Friedland and Mike O’Malley.

Fight Card according to

WEC 33
The Joint – Hard Rock Casino
Las Vegas, NV

Main Card
Doug Marshall vs. Brian Stann
Chael Sonnen vs. Bryan Baker
Ed Ratcliff vs. Marcus Hicks
Steve Cantwell vs. Tim McKenzie
Hiromitsu Miura vs. Blas Avena

John Alessio vs. Brock Larson
Sergio Gomez vs. Richard Crunkilton Jr.
Ryan Stonitsch vs. Alex Serdyukov
Chris Manuel vs. Kenji Osawa
Logan Clark vs. Scott Harper

Wisconsin Combat Sports would like to wish Sergio Gomez and Ryan Stonitsch best of luck in their bouts. We will keep you posted on the results when they become available.


Brian Stann

Doug Marshall

Doug Marshall vs. Ariel Gandulla

Doug Marshall vs. Lodune Sincaid

Doug Marshall vs. Justin McElfresh

Doug Marshall vs. Tim McKenzie

Brian Stann vs. Steve Cantwell

This article was originally published on Wisconsin Combat Sports on 03-25-08.

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