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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WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia and 2 Episodes of TUF on Tonight

Don’t forget tonight to watch WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia live on VERSUS at 8:00 P.M.

 

Also, following WEC 37 turn to SPIKE to watch the final two episodes of the Ultimate Fighter Season 8.  There will be four fights aired, plus the potential to see Junie kicked off.  The light heavyweight fights will be Ryan Bader vs. Eliot Marshall and Krzysztof Soszynski Sosynski vs. Vinny Magalhes.  The lightweight scraps will be Philippe Nover vs. George Roop and Junie Briowning vs. Efrain Escudero.

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.

WEC News: Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia at WEC 37 on December 3

The WEC announced via their website today that they will hold an event December 3 which will feature and probably be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between WEC bantamweight champion and one of the top pound for pound fighters Miguel Angel Torres and number one contender Manny Tapia.  They were slated to fight at WEC 35, but Tapia withdrew due to injury and was replaced by Yoshihiro Maedo ina  fight of the year candidate.  The show will air live on VERSUS and will feature several other big name fights.  I would look for guys like Carlos Condit and Jamie Varner also to be on this card.

Best Pound for Pound Fighter

Following July 19th the debate began as to who is the best pound for pound fighter in the world in Mixed Martial Arts.  Before July 19th two people were really thought of as perhaps the top guy: Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva.  Following July 19th the debate gets tougher with both guys winning.  Let me begin by defining the term best pound for pound.  The best pound for pound fighter does not necessarily mean that he could beat any fighter in the world.  For example at 145 lbs, Urijah Faber would stand little chance against most heavier opponents.  The pound for pound title is for the best fighter in the world, size and weight has nothing to do with it and a fight between #1 and #2 wouldn’t necessarily settle the debate.  That is why the title best pound for pound fighter is difficult to determine and is very subjective.  Here is my list of the best pound for pound fighters. 

1. Anderson Silva –  Anderson is number one to me for a few reasons.  First, he has cleaned out the middleweight divison of the UFC.  There is not a middleweight that I think can beat him.  Second, he has beaten top fighters constantly.  He beat a top notch fighter in Dan Henderson and another in Rich Franklin, and he destryoed Franklin.  He beat a solid guy in Nate Marquardt.  Third, he challenges himself.  He moved up to 205 to fight James Irvin.  Irvin is not a stud a 205, but he has serious KO power.  He could have KO’d Silva, but Silva destroyed him quickly.  Fourth, Anderson is so well rounded.  His striking is legendary.  His Muay Thai is deadly.  His jiu jitsu is incredible although we don’t see much of it.  I don’t see him getting beat any time soon at 185 or 205. 

2. Fedor Emelianenko –  I am tempted to rank Fedor 1b.  Someone could make a solid argument to him being number 1.  Fedor always impresses.  He really impressed against Sylvia.  Not just that he won, but that he won in 36 seconds.  He is no doubt the best heavyweight, but I put him second to Anderson because I do not feel he has cleaned out the divison like Anderson has.  Fedor still has several guys to beat that are top level.  I’d like to see him fight Couture, Arlovski and Barnett.  Don’t get me wrong Fedor has a great resume and has beaten great guys like Nogueira and Cro Cop.  Fedor is incredible.  As for now he is numebr 2 pound for pound and I think he has to win another and Silva has to lose to change that.

3. B.J. Penn –  Pure talent B.J. may be up there with Anderson and Fedor.  I believe B.J. may be the guy to challenge the two above guys.  He has looked dominant since his return against Pulver, Stevenson, and Sherk.  He wants to fight St. Pierre in what would be a dream match.  B.J. is one of those guys that can fight at several divisons and he has made clear he wants the welterweight belt.  If he beats St. Pierre he has to be in the talk for number 1.  He has beaten solid welterweights before and can fight well at 170.  He has even talked about going up to 185 to challenge Anderson.  B.J.’s knock has always been his drive.  That has changed lately it seems and when on his game he can beat anyone at any weight.  B.J. made very good fighters in Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson look bad.  I am on the Penn bandwagon right now and think that right now he can beat anyone at 155 and maybe anyone at 170. 

4. Urijah Faber – Some people may want St. Pierre in this spot, but I have Faber.  Faber is an awesome featherweight.  He may be the best featherweight ever.  I and many still want the Yamamoto fight, but the Pulver fight was great.  Faber impressed there and moved up my rankings because of that.  I don’t see any 145 lb guy beating Faber.  His boxing is great and he is so innovative on the ground.  The category is best pound for pound fighter and I think Urijah is one of the best. 

5. Georges St. Pierre – St. Pierre is not ranked higher because he does have a recent loss to Matt Serra.  I know he avenged that loss since then, but Serra I consider far less talented than him.  St. Pierre is the total package.  When he is on he is unstoppable, and the key is when he is on.  I don’t suspect he will lose to Jon Fitch and a matcvh with B.J. Penn is on the horizon.  St. Pierre looked great against Serra, Hughes and Koscheck lately.  He is beating top level talent at the welterweight divison.  he is a few fights away from cleaning out the divison.  If he beats Fitch, Penn, Alves and Sanchez, he may move up to 185.  St. Pierre is an awesome fighter and he has room to climb up.  I think what is so impressive about him is his desire to learn more and grow as a fighter. 

6. Miguel Torres – A 135 pound fighter is hard to rank, however there is no doubt that Torres is the world’s best bantamweight.  His popularity is growing by leaps and bounds.  His last fight may be fight of the year.  He has sick jiu jitsu and showed he can stand and bang.  He has an incredible overall record and he sports a mullet unashamedly.  Torres is great at 135.  Many are calling for a Torres vs. Faber fight and that would be awesome as I believe Torres would be a challenge to Urijah.  I do not know if we know how good Miguel is and I do not know if we ever will.  He has to be one of the most underrated fighters in the world. 

7. Lyoto Machida – I do not know how many people consider Machida in their pound for pound rankings, but I think it must be considered.  He is undefeated.  He dominated Tito Ortiz.  I know many people are critical of him, but right now he may be the world’s best light heavyweight.  He certainly fits the bill of being underrated.  Many people do not like him because of his style, but he keeps winning.  Some accuse him of running in fights, but he strikes and moves.  He is very effective.  If he keeps winning he needs to move up lists.  His fight with Thiago Silva at UFC 89 will tell us a lot.  Don’t sleep on Lyoto as a pound for pound top fighter. 

8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – Big Nog is the UFC Heavyweight champion.  He has beaten great guys.  He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.  He has tons of talent and is very well rounded.  Most consider him the #2 or #3 heavyweight and in the midst of Couture’s desire to fight the best in Fedor he has overlooked fighting Nogueira.  In my opinion Randy should have challenged Nogueira for the belt before pulling this cry baby crap with the UFC and pouting because he wanted Fedor.  He could have foguht out his contract against Nogueira and one other guy and then left with no conflict to get the Fedor fight.  He could have fulfilled his contract with no controversy with the UFC.  His legacy is tarnished.  I think Nog would beat Randy.  He has proven himself over and over.  Nogueira is a solid fighter and I look forward to his fight with Mir and his TUF 8 coachind stint. 

Others: Kid Yamamoto, Takanori Gomi, Paulo Filho, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Mid Year MMA Awards

Best Knockout

Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

Best Submission

Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

Best Fight

Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

Best Fight Card

5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

2. DREAM 4

1. UFC 84: Ill Will

Upset of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

Fighter Of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

5. Miguel Torres

4. Forrest Griffin

3. Thiago Alves

2. Shinya Aoki

1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

Best UFC Newcomer:

Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

5. Rousimar Palhares

4. Dong Hyun Kim

3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

2. Goran Reljic

1. Cain Velasquez

Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows

My Thoughts on WEC 34

 

·         I thought that the show as a whole was very good.  In fact, I feel that it was a stark contrast to EliteXC on CBS Saturday.   The WEC card had little show and focused on the fights.  The fights were great and well worth watching.  All I can say is what a difference a day makes.

·         I thought the show started off a little slow.  The Rob McCullough fight was nothing special.  I really expected to see him come out and look for a knock out, but he didn’t at all.  In fact, I believe that the fight could have been judged for Alexander. 

·         Honestly, I don’t have much to say about the first three fights because they were slightly disappointing

·         However, when Miguel Torres and Yoshiro Maeda fought I was impressed.  That was an incredible fight.  It was technical, it had great striking, and it was action packed.  I was thrilled with that fight.  I predicted Torres to win that fight and I sure didn’t expect Maeda to be such a game opponent.  He has some great striking and one heck of a chin.  That eye sure did look messed up that caused the fight to be stopped!  Miguel Torres proved that he is the best bantamweight around and one of the best pounds for pound fighters in the world.  There will not be anyone who beats Torres at 135 any time soon.  I loved seeing the display of class in defeat from Maeda when he raised the hand in the air of the victorious Miguel Torres.

·         All I can about the Faber vs. Pulver fight is wow!  Perhaps that will be the fight of the year!  It was a five round war.  I have always thought Faber was good and dominant at 145, but now I think he is the most dominant champion around.  His name should be thrown around with Anderson Silva.  Jens Pulver was tougher than I expected.  He took an absolute beating and withstood it.  He would get rocked then just grin and press forward.  Urijah Faber showed he can do more than just ground and pound someone, he has awesome stand up and a powerful right hand, that I cannot believe did not knockout Pulver.  Jens Pulver showed some serious determination.  Also, how about how classy those guys handled themselves throughout the whole process.  They never trash talked, they had nothing but good to say about each other.  All I can say is Urijah Faber is dominant at Featherweight.  He is a top 5 pound for pound guy in the world.  I have no idea how he is only 145.  The question for everyone will be: what is next for Faber?  I don’t see the logic in staying at featherweight in the WEC, he will just keep winning.  He has mentioned the possibility of moving up to avenge his loss to Tyson Griffin.  Urijah Faber dominated the fight, but hats off to Pulver for his enduring a beating.  The guy’s right eye side of his face looked like E.T. when the fight was over.  I scored the fight 50-45, but it was a great fight and Pulver did well against the champ.  One thing is I don’t fully understand why Pulver didn’t utilize that powerful left hand more often.  It shows how awesome Urijah is.  I became a Faber fan last night.   The California Kid is an awesome fighter, well rounded and dominant at his size.