WEC 'Torres vs. Tapia' Play-by-Play

Dec 4, 2008
Sherdog.com reports from The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with live play-by-play of WEC “Torres vs. Tapia.”

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Shane Roller vs. Mike Budnik
Round 1
Referee Yves Lavigne starts our night of action with this clash of lightweights. Roller starts with a left and immediately shoots. Budnik frames an armbar but Roller wisely passes. He then takes the mount and frames a guillotine on Budnik. Unable to finish the choke, he rolls from mount to his back. Still holding on to the choke, Budnik taps at the 1:01 mark of the opening frame.

Cub Swanson vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
Round 1
Swanson paws a jab and throws a right high kick that misses. Another jab by Swanson misses. Swanson lands a right and Takaya answers with a right leg kick. The two men clinch and Swanson is put in to the cage. Cub looks for a standing guillotine but lets go to circle. In the center, the fighters flurry with Swanson getting the better of the exchange. They clinch against the fence and separate with two minutes remaining in the frame. Takaya lands a low lead left kick and connects with another leg kick that knocks Swanson’s lead leg out from underneath him. On top, Takaya doesn't land much before Swanson is back to his feet. Cub ends the round with a right head kick that grazes and a spinning-back kick that misses. 10-9 Takaya.

Round 2
The featherweights start the second round and clinch. Swanson is taken down, but gets to his feet quickly. On his feet, Swanson goes for a head and arm throw but finds himself on his back. In half guard, Takaya looks to work, but Swanson gets to his knees and grabs a single-leg. Swanson lets it go to exchange again on his feet. Takaya lands a lead left kick the leg of Swanson. The fighters clinch and Swanson gets a takedown. He gets mount and Takaya gives up his back. With a minute remaining, Swanson is controlling his opponent with a body-triangle. The Japanese fighter is doing well preventing the choke. The round ends with Swanson still riding the back. 10-9 Swanson.

Round 3
The fighters touch gloves and begin to flurry. Both land lefts and rights. Neither gaining a real advantage. Takaya swings a right that lands. Swanson shoots and gets the takedown. Against the cage, the Japanese fighter looks to walk his way up but Swanson is on him. Cub mounts the legs of Takaya but cannot establish a dominant position. Takaya works back to his feet and they separate. Takaya lands a thudding leg kick and Swanson looks for another takedown. This time, Takaya stuffs it and they clinch. 90 seconds remain and Swanson is pushed in to the fence. He tries to circle away and Takaya gets a takedown. Cub sweeps his opponent, and moves to side, then mount. Takaya gives up his back. With 10 seconds remaining, Takaya gets away and is on his feet. Swanson lowers his elevation and ends the third stanza strong with another takedown. 10-9 Swanson.

The official judges see the contest 30-27 (twice) and 29-28, all for Cub Swanson, who takes the unanimous decision.

Alex Karalexis vs. Bart Palaszewski
Round 1
Karalexis takes the center of the cage and lands a low kick. Another kick lands from the TUF alum. Palaszewski is very tentative in the opening frame. Another kick lands from Karalexis. Alex swings and Palaszewski clinches. They separate and Palaszewski lands a hard right low kick. Karalexis lands a right and then swings for the fences. Palaszewski grabs the clinch and lands a knee to the body. They separate again and Alex is landing. It appears that Palaszewski was caught in the eye by a finger and referee Kim Winslow calls for a break. After a brief respite, the fighters exchange again with Karalexis dominating every step of the way. He isn't landing as much as just frustrating the IFL veteran. The round ends with Karalexis landing another flurry. Palaszewski goes back to his corner visibly upset. 10-9 Karalexis.

Round 2
Round two starts with Karalexis throwing hands. Bart answers with a right that stuns Karalexis. Alex drops to the floor hurt. Karalexis is back to his feet again. Bart is unloading now. Karalexis is dropped again and is then rescued from more punishment as Winslow stops the contest at 1:11 of the second.

Diego Nunes vs. Cole Province
Round 1
Nunes starts the bout with a left high kick that Province blocks. Nunes lands a right chopping kick to the thigh of Province. Light on his feet, Nunes starts to work a jab and a left hook combo. Province has had enough of the quicker Nunes and clinches. Nunes puts his opponent on the fence, and after a lack of action, referee Yves Lavigne separates the two men. Nunes lands another low kick and Province shoots and clinches. The fighters circle around the fence in the clinch until Province gets a takedown and lands in side-control. He takes mount and Nunes gives his back. Standing now, Province continues to ride the back and work a rear-naked choke. Nunes defends and Province gets off center and falls off. The fighters are back on their feet, where they clinch. Nunes lands a knee and finishes the round with a takedown. 10-9 Nunes.

Round 2
Nunes starts the second frame with a low kick and then two more. Province shoots and Nunes sprawls. On one knee, Province buys his time. Nunes stands up and the fighters look to engage. Again in the clinch, the fighters exchange knees. Nunes is landing the better strikes. Diego switches his knees from the body to the thighs. The fighters continue to battle in the clinch. Nunes lands a hard knee to the body and Province executes a takedown. From the guard of Nunes, Province does little. The round expires. 10-9 Nunes.

Round 3
Both fighters look fresh to start the final round. Nunes lands a hard right low kick that buckles the lead left leg of Province. The fighters find themselves in the clinch again and Province shoots. The shot is stuffed and Province is on his back against the cage, with Nunes in his guard. Three minutes remain in the match, and Nunes is working with shots from the closed guard. Nunes lands some elbows to the side of Province's head. Province brings his guard high and throws his leg over for an armbar, but Nunes gives no space. With Province’s head against the cage, he cannot execute the submission. Referee Lavigne stands them and the round expires. 10-9 Nunes

The official judges see the bout 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for Diego Nunes.

Ricardo Barros vs. Mark Munoz
Round 1
Barros comes out southpaw and shoots in on the orthodox Munoz. Barros gets a takedown and works from side-control. The Urijah Faber-trained Munoz gets to his knees and pushes in to his opponent. From there, he puts Barros on his back and takes side-control. Barros gives his back, and Munoz stays in side. Munoz unleashes shots to the side of Barros’ head. After a few moments of punishment, referee Steve Mazzagatti steps in at 2:26 of round one.

Justin Haskins vs. Johny Hendricks
Round 1
Hendricks starts the action with a low right kick. The two men clinch and Haskins grabs his opponent’s head and lands a knee. Haskins has Hendricks on the run. The two men clinch and Hendricks back is against the cage. Haskins grabs the legs of the Team Takedown fighter, where he scoops and slams. Hendricks gets back to his feet and works for a takedown of his own. They stand again and Haskins gets the better of the exchange. They clinch again and Hendricks back is once again in the fence. They circle apart and Haskins lands another punch. Haskins also scores another takedown. 10-9 Haskins.

Round 2
The southpaw Hendricks takes the center of the cage only to be met by a flurry of Haskins punches. They separate, and Haskins shoots. On his way in, Hendricks lands a stiff left uppercut. He then rains down a flurry of punches that force referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the contest at 52 seconds of the second stanza.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez
Round 1
Benavidez stuffs a Martinez single-leg attempt and lands two knees to the body. Benavidez kicks strongly to the head and body before sprawling away from another Martinez shot. Martinez throws a knee to the body and ducks under a wild right hand from Benavidez. The Urijah Faber-trained Benavidez unleashes a nice punching combination that stuns Martinez. And another. Benavidez throws three crisp punches that connect. Benavidez stops a takedown but finds Martinez on his back while standing. Benavidez throws a wild spinning elbow that misses, but it gets Martinez off his back. Now in the center of the cage, Benavidez backs his opponent up and hip-tosses him to the canvas.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez

Round 2
Martinez lands a left hand and Benavidez reacts with a flurry of punches. Benavidez lands a front kick to the chest and a kick to the left side of Martinez’s body. Benavidez does a good job of getting his strikes off and then using footwork to get out of the pocket before a counter shot finds its target. Benavidez continues to punch and kick from the outside, while Martinez racks up a beating. Benavidez tries to take the action to the floor and it costs him. Martinez defends with a front headlock and lands a knee to the head. Benavidez backs away.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez

Round 3
The fighters exchange punches and kicks to start the final frame. Both land. Benavidez lands a crane kick to the ribs and a hard low kick to Martinez’s left leg. Martinez drops levels for a single-leg takedown, but Benavidez has none of it. A straight right from Benavidez finds Martinez’s chin. A flying knee follows from Benavidez and it lands clean on the chin. Martinez is hanging in there, but mostly just fighting with his chin. Martinez tries a flying knee of his own but he doesn’t time it correctly. Martinez eats another right hand but then follows with his best punch of the fight, a right hand. Martinez finishes strong, but was it enough to steal the round?

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez

All three official judges see the contest 30-27 for Joe Benavidez.

Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro
Round 1
Bowles unloads with a punching combo that echoed throughout the arena. Ribeiro shakes off the blows and takes the center of the cage. Ribeiro, once a Brazilian Olympic boxing hopeful, is getting beat to the punch by the faster cleaner-punching Bowles. Ribeiro lands with a low kick to the lead leg and a right hand. Bowles answers with a right of his own. Ribeiro gets a takedown but he is caught in a guillotine choke. Bowles rolls his opponent over and takes the mount while holding the choke. Ribeiro looks close to tapping, but he survives and escapes. Bowles lands an elbow to the head before time expires.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Bowles
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Bowles
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Bowles

Round 2
Bowles lands a winging, off balance left hook. Ribeiro counters with a right-hand lead that grazes the head. The Brazilian fires off a spinning-back kick to the head that misses. Ribeiro slips and Bowles briefly takes his back while standing. Ribeiro shucks Bowles off his back and stands over his downed opponent throwing body punches. Bowles lands a clean upkick and Ribeiro enters his guard. Now standing, Bowles drops levels and secures a fast takedown directly into side-control. Ribeiro gets to half-guard, where Bowles punches the head with his right hand from close range. Ribeiro connects with an elbow from his back before referee Yves Lavigne stands the athletes. Ribeiro pulls guard with a guillotine at the bell.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Bowles
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Bowles
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Bowles

Round 3
Ribeiro shoots for a takedown early in final round. Bowles shows excellent timing in wrapping up a quick guillotine before his back touches the canvas. The hold is deep and Ribeiro taps at the 1:11 mark.

Wagnney Fabiano vs. Akitoshi Tamura
Round 1
Tamura pulls guard to control a Fabiano shot. Fabiano works from his opponent’s guard and passes to half. A technical, yet boring scene unfolds, as both seasoned fighters battle for position on the canvas. Fabiano postures up and strikes the body. The lackluster round ends with the Brazilian in half guard.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Fabiano
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Fabiano
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Fabiano

Round 2
The fighters exchange strikes to start the second frame and both fighters land right hands. Fabiano gets a takedown and Tamura goes high with his hips, where he locks in his heels behind his opponent’s head. Fabiano escapes the double-rubber guard and moves to half. Fabiano goes high in half-guard, which gives him room to punch the head. Tamura’s defensive guard is excellent, which is making this a boring contest of position. Finally, referee Mazzagatti stands the fighters. Fabiano gets a takedown and the crowd boos as the fight hits the floor again. Fabiano is in side-control. He passes to mount. Fabiano spins for an armbar, but the horn sounds before he can finish.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Fabiano
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Fabiano
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Fabiano

Round 3
Tamura pulls guard with a guillotine and it’s tight. Using the cage to escape with his feet, Fabiano passes to side-control and out of harm’s way. Fabiano is much more active in this round, as he keeps his positioning tight and lands with punches to the head and body. Fabiano connects with an elbow that opens a gash on Tamura’s forehead. Fabiano smells blood as he tries to pound on the Japanese fighter. Tamura continues to defend at a high level as he works a half-butterfly. Fabiano finds a gap in his game though, as he locks up a head-and-arm triangle. Fabiano passes to side-control and forces a tap with a kata gatame at 4:48 of the third.

Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia
Round 1
Torres lands a right hand lead that buckles the challenger’s frame in the opening seconds of the bout. Torres patiently jabs and lands a left shin to the face. Tapia connects with a right hook to the body. The champion’s jab has never looked better, as he pumps it out from long range strongly and lands two knees to the body when Tapia enters the pocket. Torres gets wild with a forward roll kick that misses. Tapia takes the center of the cage and backs Torres up, but he can’t land cleanly.

Jordan Breen scores the round: 10-9 Torres
TJ De Santis scores the round: 10-9 Torres
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Torres

Round 2
Torres goes to the lead leg of Tapia with a low kick. Tapia lands a clean right-handed counter punch. Torres takes the power shot flush and doesn’t even blink. Torres connects with a spinning-back kick as the crowd begins to chant his name. A straight right from Torres collapses Tapia to the canvas. Torres pounces but Tapia is game. He stands and eats a left-right combination that sends him back to the floor. Torres engages the fallen challenger on the ground with elbows and right hands. Referee Josh Rosenthal pulls Torres off the dazed and bloodied fighter and calls the bout at the 3:04 mark. Very impressive performance from Miguel Angel Torres.

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