Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia
Manny Tapia may be a legit contender, but Miguel Torres is one bad dude. I liken Miguel Torres’ reign over the WEC bantamweight division to Anderson Silva’s dominance in the UFC middleweight division. I do not know if there is a 135 lb fighter out there that can stop Torres. Many are already looking ahead to his next fight. Many are hoping for a super fight between he and Urijah Faber. Others expect his next titel defense to be against the winner of the Bowles vs. Ribeiro fight. Anyways, this is a good fight. Do not sleep on Tapia. Tapia is well rounded. He is ranked as the number 8 bantamweight fighter in the world by Sherdog. He has good take downs and good ground and pound. However, the match up may be bad from a stylsistic standpoint. Tapia excells on the ground on top of someone. Torres excells off his back. He shows great heart and ability. Torres has an incredible record of 33-1. Many have said that Torres has some of the best functional jiu jitsu for MMA. He has a dangerous triangle choke and underrated striking. He will stand and trade. I like Miguel Torres a lot. He is unique with his mullet and he is well rounded. I think Torres’ length will be a problem and I think in the end he will prove to be too good for Tapia and will win by submission in round 3.
Waggney Fabiano vs. Akitoshi Tamura
I am looking forward to this fight. Waggney Fabiano is the former IFL featherweight champ. Tamura posted a 12-6-2 record while fighting in Shooto. Both of these guys are top 10 featherweights in the world. For example, Sherdog ranks Fabiano as the #10 featherweight in the world and has Tamura unranked, HDNet has Tamura ranked at #4 and Fabian at #8. MMABlog ranks Fabian at #4 and Tamura at #5. FiveouncesofPain Ranks Tamura #5 and Fabiano #7. The point is that these guys are consensus top ten featherweights and are right about at the same ranking. This could make for a very interesting fight and I am so glad that this fight will make the televised card on Wednesday night. I do not know how solid Tamura’s ground game is, but I would have to think he would be reluctant to take the fight to the ground against Fabiano. Fabiano is a jiu jitsu wizard. There are no easy fights in the WEC featherweight division. This is a tough debut for both guys. I would have to think that Fabiano can pull off a submission. Therefore, I pick Fabiano by submission in round 1. The winner of this fight is greatly positioned for a title shot. The featherweight division is stacked with Mike Brown at the top followed by probably number one contender Leonard Garcia. Then you have other guys like Urijah Faber, Jose Aldo, Josh Grispi, Jens Pulver, Cub Swanson, and Hiroyuki Takaya in the mix as well. There are challengers a plenty in the WEC featherweight division, but none will be positioned any better than the winner of this bout.
Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro
This is a number one contender fight in the bantamweight division. Sherdog ranks Bowles as the number 3 bantamweight fighter in the world and has Ribeiro as the number 8 guy. Ribeiro is coming off of a big win over former WEC batamweight champ Chase Bebee at WEC 34. He is universally ranked in this division. Bowles is 3-0 in the WEC and boasts wins over Damacio Page, highly ranked Marcos Galvao, and Charlie Valencia. This could be fight of the night. With that said, I think that Bowles is too well rounded and that he will win the fight by unanimous decision.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez
This is another featherweight bout between two possible up and comers. It looks like this fight could be televised as well. Danny Martinez has a little more experience, but Benavidez is a highly touted fighter and is undefeated. Six of benavidez’s eight wins have come via submission, so I look for him to take the fight down and work for a submission. My prediction is that this is a back and forth fight that ends with Benavidez getting the takedown and working in a submission in round 2. A win here for Benavidez will put him on the radar in the WEC featherweight division.
Johny Hendricks vs. Justin Haskins
Hendricks is a team takedown fighter with a great qrestling pedigree out of Oklahoma State University. Hendricks wrestled there alongside Jake Rosholt and Shane Roller. Hendricks is a highly touted fighter and could be a big add to the WEC welterweight division. It is a tough place for Hendricks who surely has potential, but it would be awful hard to contend and beat the champ, Carlos Condit. However, he can earn some solid victories and work his way up the ladder. I know nothing about Haskins, but I would expect the fight to be very typical of a good wrestler. I expect Hendricks to work for a take down early and then use ground and pound to end the fight. I think we will see Hendricks win by TKO in round 2.
Mark Munoz vs. Ricardo Barros
From what I hear Barros is dangerous on the ground. Munoz is another highly touted prospect, who will make his move to the UFC light heavyweight division win or loose. My honest opinion is that Munoz would fair better at middleweight is he could cut the weight. However, he looked very good against a very big and tall Chuck Grigsby. Munoz will win this fight by KO or TKO in round 1. If other fights finish quickly wtach for this fight to be shown on TV.
Shane Roller vs. Mike Budnik
This is a tough fight to pick. Shane Roller is a Team Takedown fighter with a great wrestling pedigree. Mike Budnik also is a good prospect who many thought was going to be on The Ultimate Fighter 8. Shane Roller’s wrestling may prove to be the difference. I would expect that Budnik will be very game. However, I also think Rolelr may have better takedowns. Therefore I pick Roller to win by decision.
Diego Nunes vs. Cole Province
I think Diego Nunes will prove to be too much and too strong for Province. I think he wins by a first round submission.
Cub Swanson vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
Cub Swanson could pull this off. Takaya however is a top tiered featherweight. Swanson has struggled at many times. I think Takaya may be willing to stand and trade with Swanson. Either way I think it is a close fight that ends with Takaya sneaking out a decision.
Bart Palaszewski vs. Alex Karalexis
Bart P. is a solid add to the WEC lightweight division. The former IFL guy is a good fighter. I think he wins this by decision over UFC vert Karalexis.
Blas Avena vs. Kevin Knabjian
Blas by decision.
Filed under: Akitoshi Tamura, Bart Palaszewski, Brian Bowles, Diego Nunes, Hiroyuki Takaya, Johnny Hendricks, Joseph Benavidez, Manny Tapia, Mark Munoz, Miguel Torres, Mike Budnik, Shane Roller, Ultimate Fighting, Waggney Fabiano, WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia, Will Ribeiro | Tagged: Akitoshi Tamura, Alex Karalexis, Bart Palaszewski, Brian Bowles, Cub Swanson, Diego Nunes, Hiroyuki Takaya, Johnny Hendricks, Joseph Benavidez, Manny Tapia, Mark Munoz, Miguel Torres, Mike Budnik, Shane Roller, Waggney Fabiano, WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia, Will Ribeiro | Leave a comment »