WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia Results and Recap

Shane Roller def. Mike Budnik via guillotine choke- 1:01- Round 1
Cub Swanson def. Hirouki Takaya via unanimous decision
Bart Palaszewski def. Alex Karalexis via TKO- Round 2
Diego Nunes def Cole Province by unanimous decision
Mark Munoz def. Ricardo Barros via TKO- 2:26-Round 1
Johny Hendricks def. Justin Haskins via TKO-:43 – Round 2
Joseph Benavidez def. Danny Martinez via unanimous decision
Brian Bowles def. Will Ribeiro via submission – 1:11-Round 3
Wagnney Fabiano def. Akitoshi Tamura via submission-4:48-Round 2
Miguel Torres def. Manny Tapia via TKO-3:04-Round 2.

  • Joseph Benavidez impressed and dominated Danny Martinez
  • Brian Bowles looked really good and may be in line for a title shot
  • Waggney Fabiano was very technical and eventually got his submission
  • Miguel Torres…what can I say?  Tapia looked slower and less technical.  Bottom line is Torres will be tough to beat for anyone at 135 lbs.  Who said his striking wasn’t good?  I’d put Torres against 155ers
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My WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia Preview and Predictions

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.

The WEC Fighters Making Their Move to the UFC…

·         Chael Sonnen – Chael Sonnen is coming off of a win over WEC middleweight champ Paulo Filho, but he never got the official title because Filho failed to make weight.  Sonnen looks very good lately and will certainly challenge for the belt right away.  He could be in consideration for the TUF 9 coaching gig as well alongside Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia.

·         Jake Rosholt – Rosholt won his WEC debut against Nissen Osterneck, but he looked very vulnerable standing.  Rosholt will certainly get a shot in the UFC and many think Rosholt could be a champ some day.  He is training now out of Xtreme Couture, so his striking should improve.  I would say it won’t be long and he will have his first opponent in the octagon.

·         Nissen Osterneck – This is somewhat of a surprise, but it is being reported that despite losing his WEC debut to Rosholt that Osterneck will get a chance in the UFC.  His loss to Rosholt was his first professional loss, but he did look pretty good in that fight. 

Light Heavyweight

·         Steve Cantwell – Cantwell will be the first WEC fighter to make the move over.  He is the champ.  A rubber match was slated for him and Brian Stann, but Stann withdrew due to injury.  Cantwell will make his UFC debut against Razak Al-Hussan at UFC Fight Night 17: Fight For the Troops on December 10th. “The Robot” is a very young fighter with great striking and kickboxing and is sure to improve.

·         Brian Stann – Stann made a move to Team Jackson and sustained an injury, but he should be recovered soon and may have an opponent sooner than later.  We still could see Cantwell vs. Stann III if Cantwell wins next week.

·         Steve Steinbeiss – Steinbeiss is coming off of a split decision loss to Carmello Marrero at WEC 36, but it is being reported he will fight in the UFC anyways.  

·         Mark Munoz – He fights December 3rd in the WEC and then is expected to make his move to the UFC.  He is a solid prospect who may be competitive in the UFC. 

Note: Paulo Filho has been dropped from his Zuffa contract and will not make the move to the UFC.  Also, I am note sure what the contract status is of Carmello Marrero.  It looks like Doug Marshall will not be with Zuffa.  Danillo Vilefort looks to be dropping to 170 lbs.