MMA notebook: Injury forces out Crunkilton

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

LAS VEGAS – The main event jinx continues to haunt the World Extreme Cagefighting card set for Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Lightweight Richard Crunkilton became the third fighter connected to the card's original main event to be injured and forced to pull out. Crunkilton fractured his right arm in two places on Saturday and is out indefinitely.

He was originally supposed to meet Rob McCullough for the WEC lightweight championship in what had been a hotly anticipated bout. But McCullough first had to withdraw because of a knee injury and then his replacement, Jamie Varner, hurt his back and pulled out.

Now, it is Crunkilton who is down.

"It was a total freak thing," said Crunkilton, who will visit an orthopedist on Tuesday to determine the course of treatment and the extent of his layoff. "I went to throw the punch and, I don't know if it was the straw that broke the camel's back or what, but when I turned my arm over, it (broke).

"I'm not sure if I had gotten kicked there before and it was something pre-existing or what."

The light heavyweight title fight between Doug Marshall and Justin McElfresh will now serve as the main event, said WEC co-general manager Scott Adams.

"It's part of the fight game, but it's really a disappointment because that main event (between McCullough and Crunkilton) would have been as good as there is," Adams said. "But we can just keep that together and put it on in the late summer when both guys are ready to go."


Martin Kampmann lost a shot at the most high-profile bout of his career on Thursday when he injured the ACL and MCL in his left knee while training with Tyson Griffin at Xtreme Couture MMA in Las Vegas.

That forced him to withdraw from a June 16 bout in Belfast, Northern Ireland against ex-UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin.

The UFC has not announced a replacement for Kampmann. One of the names being discussed is Yushin Okami, who is coming off an impressive win in Houston last month over Mike Swick.


The WEC won't be able to complain about a lack of exposure after June 3. That night, it will have five consecutive hours of programming on Versus.

It will start with a two-hour show of fights that have been staged in Las Vegas since Zuffa, the owners of the UFC, bought the company last year. Then, it will have a live two-hour program and will follow with a reality-based fight show in which fans will get a behind-the-scenes look at Antonio Banuelos.

Cameras followed Banuelos working with UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. The reality program will also show Banuelos on fight night as he prepares to face Charlie Valencia.

"It's a different perspective, I think, and I believe people are going to find it a different look than they normally get," Adams said.


Rashad Evans said he's not insulted by the fact that former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has been referring to him as a "nappy-headed ho" on Internet bulletin board postings and in interviews. It's the same racial epithet that radio personality Don Imus used to describe the Rutgers women's basketball team and ultimately got him fired.

However, Evans, an African-American, doesn't consider the comments racist. He believes Ortiz is simply talking to convince himself he has a chance to win their light heavyweight bout at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on July 7.

"When we call someone nappy-headed, it's not in any way a racial term," the unbeaten Evans said. "It's when your hair is neglected and not combed. White people get nappy-headed, too, but they say it's knotted or snarled.

"But I don't care what Tito says, honestly. I take it like, whatever Tito needs to do to get himself ready, do it. Coming off the losses he is, he doesn't have a lot of confidence.

"He has to be wondering, 'Is my time up?' He has to be thinking, 'Am I really any good anymore?' The only thing he has to go with is to try intimidation. Whatever he needs do to, that's fine."

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