Anyhow, it is still my understanding that the WEC will eventually go the Pay-Per-View route [not that I'm complaining!]
The evening started out with a Bantamweight bout between Joseph Benavidez & Danny Martinez. What surprised me about this fight was that it had a female ref presiding! ~ 1st time that I have seen that! [not that there's anything wrong with that!]
As for the fight, it was an okay fight - nothing overly exciting - it went all 3 rounds, with Benavidez [who I wanted to win] winning by decision.
Next we had another Bantamweight match-up between Brian Bowles & Will Ribeiro - I wanted Bowles to win this one, and he did - waiting for Ribeiro to take him down, in the 2nd round, and then catching Ribeiro in a Guillotine Choke - Nice!
We were then given a Featherweight bout, with both fighters in their WEC debut - they were Wagnney Fabiano & Akitoshi "The Ironman" Tamura.
Not knowing either fighter's history, I decided on Tamura [simply because he's Japanese and goes by 'Ironman'] :-)
This fight shows why you do not choose fighter's because of their nationality or namesake - after a rather boring fight, with Fabiano dominating all 3 rounds, he ended up making Tamura tap out (via a head/arm choke) with only 12 seconds left of the 3rd and final round - he would have lost by decision anyhow!
Up next - the main event of the evening: Miguel Angel Torres vs Manny "The Mangler" Tapia (shown above) for the Bantamweight Belt!
I was rooting for Torres, all the way, on this one - Torres is an Awesome Fighter! His record is 34 wins, with only 1 loss - he hasn't lost a fight in 5 years! The dude is awesome. . .
This was a great fight Torres & Tapia were going toe-to-toe, blow-for-blow. Tapia put up a great fight, though you should have seen Torres' jabs snapping Tapia's head back! [Torres had a 9" reach advantage!] Torres also did some maneuver that I had never seen before - a forward roll axe kick - interesting, but not very effective (this time anyway)
In the end, Torres caught Tapia, knocking him out, near the end of the 2nd round, making for his 35th win - retaining the title and the belt!
Before I sign off, I also wanted to update those who may care about The Ultimate Fighter Finale, which will take place, Live, next Saturday (the 13th) on Spike.
In tonight's 11th & 12th episodes, of Season 8, the semi-finals took place, determining who will fight for the 6-figure UFC contract.
In episode 11, we had Light Heavyweights Ryan Bader & Eliot Marshall and Lightweights Phillipe Nover & George Roop face off to determine who will fight in the Finals.
In episode 12, we had Light Heavyweights Krzysztof Soszynski (my man!) & Vinnie Magalhaes and Lightweights Efrain Escudero & Junie Browning face off to determine who will fight in the Finals.
[Before I continue, I just have to give mad props to UFC President - Dana White - who is the man! It's no secret that I dislike Junie Browning, and after he continued to mouth off, and attempted to fight another fighter (in the house - which isn't allowed!) Dana called him out - told him that he needed to face his fears! Dana knew that Junie would rather be thrown off the show, than risk losing a fight, on national television. So, Dana spoke with the other fighters (to make sure they knew there was no favoritism being shown) and asked Efrain if he would rather attempt to "beat him off" the show - a hilarious moment in the show, as it didn't sound right, the way Dana said it :-) rather than just sending Junie home. Of course, Efrain agreed!]
As for the Finals - I regret having to inform everyone that my #1 pick Krzysztof lost his semi-final match-up! :-( [I am not making any excuses, but Magalhaes is a Submissions Expert, I tell you what!] I am sure that we will still see Krzysztof fight in a couple under-cards, till he works his way back up!
So, this means that Ryan Bader [who was my brother's #1 pick] & Vinnie Magalhaes will be fighting for the Light Heavyweight Contract. [My brother & I both agree that Magalhaes will most likely win the fight!]
As for the Lightweights - Phillipe Nover & Efrain Escudero will be fighting for the Contract. [Yes, I enjoyed watching Junie get beat down! Justice was Served - the right way!] :-)
The Nover vs Escudero match-up should make for an excellent fight, though my bet is on Nover!]