("No, I hate you more!" Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)
Miguel Torres aims to make his second bantamweight belt defense against the undefeated Manny Tapia, Brian Bowles and Will Ribeiro scrap for the chance to take on the winner, and top featherweights Wagnney Fabiano and Akitoshi Tamura make their WEC debuts. Not too shabby a night for sub-lightweight MMA, if you ask us. Hit that "Read More" link and refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest updates from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez (bantamweights)
Whoa, a lady referee! Kim Winslow tells the guys to "touch ‘em up"!
Round 1: The fighters clash and Benavidez pops a knee to the body. Benavidez throws some nasty kicks, and Martinez tries for a takedown. Benavidez stuffs. Martinez misses a punch and pays for it big-time, eating a flurry of punches. Benavidez charges in with more punches. Martinez tries for the takedown again, and grabs onto Benavidez’s back. JB spins out with a backfist. He throws a front kick, misses a roundhouse, then lands a straight right and tosses Martinez to the mat. He works for a shoulder-lock from the top as the round ends.
Round 2: Benavidez starts out with some kicks, then fires some punches in a clinch. Martinez jabbing but not landing. Nice leg kick from JB, and more counter-punching. Mir calls out Martinez for not throwing any combos. Benavidez lands a nasty knee to the face. The round ends with DM charging in.
Round 3: Martinez whiffs a body punch, then gets teep-kicked. Benavidez firing some wild strikes — not much damage, but they’re brushing DM back. Another teep. Leg kick JB. Martinez tries for a takedown and fails. Benavidez tees off with a punch, flying knee, and head kick. He pops DM with a right straight. Martinez grabs the clinch and gets in a sharp knee. Flying knee from DM misses the mark and the horn sounds as the fighters clinch.
Joseph Benavidez def. Danny Martinez via unan. dec. (30-27 x 3). Good job, lady ref!
Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro (bantamweights)
Round 1: Reverse kick from Ribeiro misses. Bowles lands a big uppercut, then another in a clinch. Both guys trade shots. Leg kick from WR, then a reverse kick that lands. Ribeiro shoots and almost gets caught in a guillotine. WR slips out but Bowles winds up on top, throwing short elbows. And the horn.
Round 2: Bowles catches a kick but botches the takedown and Ribeiro lands on top. Bowles escapes and dodges a head kick. Bowles scores a takedown, and WR tries for his own choke, which fails. Bowles reverses and gets on top. Yves Lavigne stands ‘em up, and they fire some punches before the fight briefly goes to the ground and the round ends.
Round 3: WR lands a hard right hook, and Bowles answers. WR shoots again, and gets caught in the guillotine, for real this time. Ribeiro taps immediately. Brian Bowles def. Will Ribeiro via guillotine choke, 1:11 of round 3.
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Akitoshi Tamura (featherweights)
Fabiano comes out to the Rocky theme. The Brazilians, they love Stallone.
Round 1: Body kick Tamura. Fabiano takes AT down and gets on top. Fabiano working for a choke, but loses it. Fabiano slips in some elbows. A bit of a stalemate on the ground; the crowd is restless. Tamura has Fabiano’s leg locked up. The round ends. Mir thanks the ref for not standing the fighters up. High-level competition, really.
Round 2: Fabiano takes Tamura down after landing some heavy punches, but Tamura threatens a triangle choke from the bottom. Fabiano drops a big elbow from the top. Tamura has WF’s leg locked up again. Steve Mazzagatti stands ‘em up and Tamura lands a body kick. WF shoots again and moves to side-control, then the mount. He almost grabs an armbar as the round ends.
Round 3: Wagnney shoots into a guillotine choke, but uses the cage to flip himself out of danger, then gets on top. He slugs Tamura’s face from side control, then moves to half guard. Tamura is cut badly on his forehead. Fabiano working for the arm-choke, and gets it just before the round ends. Glad that’s over…
Wagnney Fabiano def. Akitoshi Tamura via head-and-arm-choke, 4:48 of round 3. Most disappointing fight of the year?
Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia (bantamweight championship match)
WHICH MARIACHI BAND ES MAS MACHO? MY GOD THESE CORRIDOS!
Round 1: Jab from Torres wobbles Tapia. Double-kick from Torres, and Tapia swings back. Nice jabs by Torres. TORRES WITH THE HAROLD HOWARD CARTWHEEL KICK! It misses but who cares! Tapia charges in with a punch combo in the round’s closing seconds.
Round 2: Solid right from Tapia. Torres answers big with punches, a backfist, and a kick. Huge right from Torres sends Tapia to the mat. Tapia scrambles his feet but gets cracked again and pounded the fuck out on the ground. Miguel Torres Remains The Truth.
My laptop’s acting shifty, so I’ll sign off now. Time to watch TUF!