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.

WEC 36 Preview and Predictions

Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen

This is a great fight with a great story line.  The two guys fought for the title last December and the fight ended in controversy.  Sonnen was winning the fight and suddenly Filho locked in an armbar.  Viewers could see the armbar was tight, Sonnen grimaced and even let out a scream.  The referre called a stop to the fight, but Sonnen thought it was unwarranted because he never tapped.  There was a lot of controversy concerning the stoppage, but Sonnen’s arm would have been broken if it wasn’t stopped.  This fight is a whole new fight.  Sonnen is no longer a huge underdog, although he probably is the underdog.  Filho is coming off of some serious personal issues including depression and drug rehab.  The fight vey well may be determined by Filho’s mental state.  Sonnen is no push over, he is a great wrestler with solid ground and pound skills.  He will have had a good training camp and plenty of time to prepare.  Filho ought to be ready to go.  Hopefully, he is back in the swing of things and has his problems straightened out. Following this fight both Filho and Sonnen should fight in the UFC with the WEC folding their middleweight divison along with their light heavyweight divison.  The two guys should contend for the belt right away win or lose here.  Filho has said he will not fight his good friend Anderson Silva and Anderson said the same.  Saddly, it looks like we will neve rsee the #1 vs. the #2 middleweights in the world.  Filho will be a solid competitor in the UFC.  I think a Sonnen vs. Silva match would be very interesting, but for Sonnen to get that match he has to win here.  This fight is hard to pick because Sonnen is improving so much and we do not know what Filho we will see.  My prediction may be risky, but I will pick Filho to win.  Why?  Because Filho is still the number 2 middleweight in the world.  I think that Filho will win by submission in round 2. 

Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown

This is another interesting fight that many are excited to see.  Some people think that Mike Brown could be a serious threat to Urijah Faber.  Faber very well could be Zuffa’s most dominant champion, and that is saying something when you consider guys like Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and B.J. Penn have nearly cleaned out their respective divisons.  The reality is that Mike Brown is a big featherweight, he is very experienced and he is very well rounded.  He has fought in the UFC and many other places and has some good wins over guys like Jeff Curran and Yves Edwards.  Brown has good submissions, having won 11 of his 19 wins by submission, however he also seems suseptible to submissions.  All four of his wins he lost by submission.  Faber has also shown improvement.  His fight against Pulver showed incredible boxing skill.  In the end I think Faber is too well rounded.  I believe Brown could be a good fight, but Faber is the best featherweight in the world.  In the end I think Faber will hit him hard a few times.  I do not know if Brown can endure what Jens Pulver did for 5 rounds.  If it goes to the ground Faber is comofrtable there and not to mention crafty.  Either way I pick Urijah Faber to win by a rear naked choke after a few hard hits in round 3. 

Leonard Garcia vs. Jens Pulver

Both Pulver and Garcia enter the WEC featherweight divison via the UFC’s lightweight divison.  Pulver debuted in the WEC by winning quickly and easily over Cub Swanson.  That win earned him a shot at featherweight champ Urijah Faber.  While Faber dominated Jens, I gained respect for Pulver as he showed true toughness in that fight.  Garcia debuted with an impressive KO win over highly touted and top ten featherweight Hiroyuki Takaya.  Therefore, this makes a good fight.  Garcia may be a good fit at 145 lbs.  Pulver is certainly a good fit here.  The winner of this fight would certainly be once again at the top of the heap along with the winner of December 3rd’s featherweight clash between IFL champ Waggney Fabiano and Japanese fighter Akitoshi Tamaura and the winner of the Josh Grispi vs. Diego Nunes fight.  I do not know what the difference will be in this fight, but I will base my pick on the experience.  Pulver is very experienced.  He has fought better competiton and beaten better guys.  On paper Pulver has the far better resume.  I know that may not be the best way to pick a fight, but I think Pulver’s toughness will out last Garcia and Jens will win by unanimous decision. 

Rob McCullough vs. Donald Cerrone

The winner of this fight will almost assuridly get the next title show against champ Jamie Varner.  “Razor” Rob McCullough is the former lightweight WEC champ, but he lost his title to Varner.  McCullough has not looked very good in his last few fights including a split deicsion win over Kenneth Alexander.  Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone looked very impressive in his debut over Danny Castillo.  He is 8-0 and I believe he will be a tough match for “Razor” Rob.  Cerrone has won all 8 of his fights by submission, so I am pretty sure he will want this fight on the ground.  If he can get McCullough down then the fight will be over.  If it stays standing, Rob could get a KO.  Judging by how bad McCullough looked in his last fight I will pick Cerrone to win by a submission in round 1. 

Jake Rosholt vs. Nissen Osterneck

The fight was originally supposed to be Rosholt vs. Danillo Vilefort.  Vilefort withdrew due to injury and Osterneck stepped in.  Both these guys are prospects.  Rosholt is more than justa  stand out college wrestler.  He is a 3 time divison I champion out of Oklahamoa State University and a 4 time All-American wrestler.  He may be one of the most decorated wrestlers to enter mixed martial arts.  Rosholt began training out of Xtreme Couture and has really stepped up his game and looked impressive.  He is expected to be a future contender.  We most likely will see him in the UFC in 2009.  I do think Osterneck poses some challenges in this fight and has great submission skills, but in the end I think Rosholt will use his wrestling to control the fight and work some ground and pound.  I pick Rosholt to win this fight by TKO in round 3. 

Carmello Marrero vs. Steve Steinbeiss

This fight has seemed doomed from the begining for Steinbeiss who has lost two opponents.  First he was supposed to fight up and comer Mark Munoz, but Munoz withdrew tih injury.  Then he was supposed to face TUF alum Alex Schouenauer who also withdrew with injury.  This might be good news for Steinbeiss who wants to be one of the 205ers moved over to the UFC.  Marrero is a UFC vet who went 1-2 posting losses to Wilson Gouveia and Gabriel Gonzaga, but he did score a win over Cheick Kongo.  This is a tough fight to call.  Marrero has good skills, but I look for Steinbeiss to win this one by decision.

 Quick Picks:

David Avellan vs. Aaron Simpson

Jose Aldo vs. Jonathan Brookins

Danny Castillo vs. Rafael Dias

Rani Yayha vs. Yoshiro Maeda

UFC News: Zuffa Buys IFL

It has been rumored for a few weeks that Zuffa was going to buy the International Fight League (IFL), now it seems offifical.  we assumed it was going to happen with several clues.  First, came the announcment that the IFL was for sale for $1,000,000 and that Zuffa was the leading suitor.  Then came the July 19th card featuring IFL fighters such as Reese Andy, Brad Blackburn and Rory Markham.  Also, during the SPIKE telecast of the UFC Fight Night 14 card IFL footage was used and talked about openly, something the UFC had not done before.  Then came the rumor that  the UFC signed Jim and Dan Miller.  Here is a word from IFL Senior Vice President of Communications Joe Favorito:

I apologize for this mass email but I wanted to take a second to let you know that as of July 31 my role at the IFL will be no more as the company goes into its final stage of being sold and/or closed down. We are very proud of what we did here in just over two years, building a brand from nothing into something that people in the industry and outside of the industry actually noticed, and I enjoyed working with so many different people and helped tell some great stories. At the end of the day sometimes the finances don’t make sense, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The good news is I think we have gotten all our good junior people placed in some great spots, so we are pretty proud of that. Even our interns landed in good places

That is nothing shocking.  Again, the focus now will be where do the 10-15 top guys from the IFL land.  There is some news on that front.  The IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz seems to have landed with World Victory Road, as he is slated to appear on their Sengoku 4 card, which is a lightweight grand prix.  That is a pretty good indicator that he will not land with Zuffa.  Also, MMAjunkie says that Chris Horodecki is in negotions with the American Fight League.  I am sure ZUffa will sign more fighters and they will go between the UFC and WEC.  I would imagine that means that the UFC will focus on Roy Nelson, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Jay Hieron, while the WEC has to crave Waggney Fabiano at 145 lbs.

Rumor: UFC Looking to Buy IFL

It is not a secret that the IFL has been up for sale.  The supposed asking price: $1,000,000.  The most likely buyer seems to be Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC and WEC.  The rumor has been that the UFC has been in talks with IFL.  For a long time Dana White has been critical and wary of the IFL.  Recently though many fighters have tried their hand at the UFC.  Several IFL guys were cast for TUF 7 including: Gerald Harris, Mike Dolce, and Dante Rivera.  Several others were picked to fight at the UFC Fight Night held to combat Affliction: Banned including stars Brad Blackburn, Reese Andy, and Rory Markham.  Markham and Blackburn both looked very good in wins in their octagon debuts.  The rumors have been fueled following the fight night.  Many people speculated that since Rogan and Goldberg talked openly about the IFL and IFL videos were shown that the UFC could have bought the IFL.  It seems most likely that the IFL is done. This from CagePotato:

Despite Dana White’s love of criticizing every aspect of the IFL and citing them as a cautionary tale for MMA startups, it seems fighter contracts and an extensive video library are just too attractive for him to pass up. According to a report on MMA Payout, Zuffa is very close to buying the IFL.

The deal isn’t finalized, says Sam Caplan, but this is the most credible report thus far regarding the potential purchase of the IFL. The company was said to be on the market for around $1 million, but the UFC is believed to be getting it for less than that. Sources within the IFL could only confirm for us that the talks have been under way for some time now and the UFC is the leading suitor.

 The rumor has been that the IFL fighters would be split between the UFC and WEC.  Some would become free agents.  Here are the msot attractive fighters to Zuffa. 

1. Waggney Fabiano – 145 Lbs.  (He is the IFL Fetaherweight champ and would make a good competition for Urijah Faber in the WEC.

2. Roy Nelson – HVWT.  (He is the IFL heavyweight Champ and would likely be given a shot in the UFC, but I don’t know how he’d fair against UFC fighters)

3.  Ryan Schultz – 155 lbs. (He is the IFC Lightweight Champ, and may be better suited for the WEC)

4. Chris Horodecki – 155 lbs. (I think he could hack the UFC, but 155 is stacked)

5. Jim Miller – 155 lbs. (He has been rumored to be on TUF 8 cast as a lightweight, but I don’t but that)

6. Jay Hieron – 170 lbs. (He is the IFL Welterweight Champ, he has been in the UFC, but he may have impreved since his stint there)

7. Ryan McGivern

8. Matt Horowich

9. Vladimir Matyushenko

10. Dan Miller