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WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia – results & play-by-play

Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez (BW)
Rd.1 – Martinez looks to get the fight down but Benavidez stuffs it. Benavidez lands a nice left to the face followed by a front kick to the chin. Benavidez throwing nice combinations. Right roundhouse kick to the body by Benavidez. Martinez gets Benavidez down but he bounces back up. Benavidez’s style is very reminiscent of Faber, whom he trains with. Nice judo throw by Benavidez and has Martinez in a headlock from side control as the bell sounds. Great round for Benavidez who was called the “Breakout Star of 2009″ recently by Big John McCarthy on Inside MMA.
Rd.2 – Benavidez continues to push the pace and his striking looks good. His stand up looks very similar to the way Faber fights. Nothing very significant lands for either fighter in this round but Benavidez clearly has the edge due to keeping the pressure on and controlling the bout.
Rd.3 – Some nice leg kicks by Benavidez in this round. Left kick by Benavidez lands on Martinez’s face. Benavidez continues to push the pace and lands a right hand. Martinez seems content to throw one punch at a time. Nice right hand by Benavidez lands on Martinez’s chin. Martinez lands a couple of good shots finally. Martinez knows he’s losing and is trying to finish the fight but too little too late.
30-27, 30-27, 30-27 Joseph Benavidez wins by unanimous decision. After the fight, Benavidez says this was his toughest fight. It must have been his toughest fight to date because it was also his very first decision.

Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro (BW)
Rd.1 – Bowles is from Athens, Georgia. Spinning roundhouse by Ribeiro misses. Big combination by Bowles connects on the jaw. Ane exchange and both land. Both guys connect with punches followed by a leg kick by Bowles. Both guys swinging big. Someone is going down I foresee if they keep swinging like this. Spinning sidekick by Ribeiro lands solid to the mid-section of Bowles. Ribeiro shoots in and gets the takedown but Bowles catches his head in a guillotine. Ribeiro peels the hands off and Bowles takes his back. Ribeiro rolls over and gets guard. Elbows on the ground from Bowles. Very competitive round from both guys.
Rd.2 - Nice leg kick from Ribeiro. Bowles is holding his head straight up. Bowles catches a kick and tries to take Ribeiro down but it gets reversed and Bowles is on his back. Bowles lands a nice up-kick. Bowles gets back to his feet and eats a punch. Bowles picks up Ribeiro big and slams him. Ribeiro has a loose guillotine that fails. Bowles is on top but not doing much. Ref calls for action and finally stands them up. Big combos by both. Bowles gets another takedown as the bell sounds.
Rd.3 - Nice leg kick by Ribeiro and another. Bowles catches a kick and makes Ribeiro eat a big right. Ribeiro shoots and Bowles catches his head and locks up a very tight guillotine, rolls over to put Ribeiro on his back and Ribeiro is forced to tap.
Brian Bowles defeats Will Ribeiro by submission (guillotine) in round 3.

Wagnney Fabiano vs. Akitoshi Tamura (FW)
Rd.1 – Fabiano showing a lot of respect bowing and barely looking up before the fight. Fabiano gets the takedown. Fabiano looking for a full mount but Tamura defending it well. Fabiano achieves full mount briefly but is forced back to half guard. A couple of elbows land from Fabiano. Tamura holding Fabiano’s leg tight with a scissors lock preventing him from improving position. Props to the ref for allowing the strategic grappling to play out.
Rd.2 – Big knee to the body by Tamura. Then he eats a big punch from Fabiano. Tamura has a nice rubberguard holding Fabiano. Fabiano is on top throwing an occasional elbow. Fabiano gets full mount but again Tamura prevents him from holding it. Ref stands them up. Fabiano shoots, gets the takedown and has side control. Fabiano gets the full mount, goes for an armbar but time is up.
Rd.3 - Tamura goes for a guillotine. Fabiano uses the cage to put his legs straight up in the air to nullify the guillotine. Knee to belly from Fabiano leads to a full mount, then to side control. Fabiano is maintaining control from various positions but hs been unable to do anything with it and his ground and pound game is virtually non existent although he has opened up a cut somehow on Tamura. His ground an pound are basically short shots to try and open up a submission. And that’s what he just did. Fabiano finally sinks in a head and arm choke with twenty-two seconds left in the match and Tamura taps out (a worldwide expression of combat :)).
Wagnney Fabiano defeats Akitoshi Tamura by submission (head & arm choke) in round 3.

Manny Tapia (10-0) vs. Miguel Torres (34-1) – WEC Bantamweight Title Fight
Few people are giving Tapia a chance in this fight. He was a huge underdog that could have rewarded you with a big payoff if he were to win. Frank Mir believes Miguel Torres is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Oh NO! It looks as though Miguel has cut off his mullet. I can’t believe it. Dammit. He no longer looks so much like he belongs in the Outsiders movie. He does still bear a strong resemblance to Ralph Machio, however the mullet just added so much to his style. Torres looks all business.
Rd.1 - Torres is a couple inches taller. Torres lands a punch that rocks Tapia right away. And Mir just talks right over it and doesn’t even aknowledge it. Nice jab from Torres. Karate kid kick by Torres lands somewhat. Told ya he was Ralph Machio. Jab snaps Tapia’s head. Tapia standing strong. Body shot by Tapia. Torres does a forward roll axe kick that does nothing. That leads me to believe he is over confident. Torres with another jab. Tapia comes in strong with a number of shots but not really landing. Torres has a look on his face that may show a bit of frustration. We have seen in the past if he gets too frustrated his emotion can cause him to get away from a good gameplan.
Rd.2 - Nice jab snaps Tapia’s head. Nice right hand connects from Tapia. A nice left from Tapia. Spinning backfist from Torres connects nicely. Big right hand from Torres puts Tapia to the ground but he has survived for now. Torres still coming forward landing big shots that drop Tapia again. He finishes it up with an elbow and a few big ones to end it as the ref stops it.
Miguel Torres defeats Manny Tapia by TKO (strikes) in round 2.

Untelevised Fights:
Shane Roller defeats Mike Budnik by submission (choke) in round 1
Cub Swanson defeats Hiroyuki Takaya by unanimous decision
Bart Palaszewski defeats Alex Karalexis by TKO (strikes) in round 2
Diego Nunes defeats Cole Province by unanimous decision
Johny Hendricks defeats Justin Haskins by TKO (strikes) in round 2

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