Despite a snowstorm that kept some away, I was in attendance for WEC 40. There was a solid line-up of fights and they were entertaining throughout. I had seats that were up a few rows in the lower bowl, giving me a good sight line for the event. I saw Manny Tapia, Clay Guida and Raphael Assuncao up on the concourse, but it was a little tough to get a picture.
Miguel Torres def Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous dec- Torres and Mizugaki threw punches, kicks and knees non-stop for the entire 25 minute fight. Anytime Torres looked to connect with a punch, Mizugaki landed a kick. They battled hard throughout the fight, as chants of "Torres" could be heard throughout the arena. Torres attempted to bring Mizugaki to the ground, but he was just not having any part of Torres on the ground.
*Torres and Mizugaki win Fight of the Night.
(Torres in his corner before the fight)
Joseph Benavidez def Jeff Curran via unanimous dec- Curran came out as the hometown favorite, but the crowd didn't carry him in the fight. Benavidez landed the stronger kicks and punches of the fight to get the victory. His kicks landed sharp as you could hear the smacks in the audience. The action was fast and furious, but Benavidez had Curran's number.
(Benavidez throwing a kick)
Ben Henderson def Shane Roller via TKO (strikes) R1, 1:41- This proved to be one of the only come from behind performances on the card. Roller came out strong landing a combination that dropped Henderson. Roller then locked in a guillotine, but he didn't quite have it. Henderson then got to his feet and landed a left and a right to the temple which flattened Roller. He tried to grab onto Henderson's legs, but as the punches kept coming the bout was called.
(Roller goes for the guillotine)
Raphael Assuncao def Jameel Massouh via unaninous dec- Despite giving up a few inches, Assuncao was able to dominate the fight for all rounds getting a 30-27 score on all the judges scorecards. Assuncao was able to get the better of the fight with punches and kicks, and also got takedowns and submission attempts. Massouh almost came back near the end of the fight, but it was too little, too late.
(Assuncao giving up some height)
Anthony Njokuani def Bart Palaszewski via TKO (strikes) R2, 0:27- Bart Palaszewski suffered another setback losing his second straight fight in the WEC. The first round saw Bart eat a couple punches before getting a takedown. Njokuani got up almost instantly, and started throwing more cominations. In the second, Njokuani worked his jab before landing a big right hand dropping Palaszewski.
*Njokuani wins KO of the Night.
(Njokuani finishing off Palaszewski)
Dominick Cruz def Ivan Lopez via unanimous dec- Cruz dominated the fight with punches, kicks and takedowns. Cruz had good ground and pound throughout the fight getting dominant positions. In the third round, as Lopez was shooting for a leg during a scramble, Cruz accidently kneed Lopez in the head. With Lopez on the ground reeling back and forth, the fight was called. As the ref judged it an inadvertant knee, they went to the judges cards who scored it for Cruz.
(Lopez attempting to punch Cruz)
Wagnney Fabiano def Fredson Paixao via unanimous dec- Fabiano controlled the action throughout the fight en route to a 30-27 decision. Fabiano was able to get takedowns, ground and pound, throw good leg kicks and attempt some submissions. Fabiano also opened up a cut on Paixao's head early on.
(Fabiano ground and pound)
Rani Yahya def Eddie Wineland via sub (rear-naked choke) R1, 1:07- It was not Eddie Wineland's night as Rani Yahya basically steamrolled right past him. Yahya ate an elbow on a takedown attempt, got Wineland's back, sunk in the hooks and choke and it was lights out.
*Yahya wins Submission of the Night bonus
Akitoshi Tamura def Manny Tapia via unanimous dec- This fight was a hard fought war that was much closer than the 29-28 seen on all the judges scorecards. For all three rounds, both fighters traded punches, kicks and knees. Anything that Tapia did, Tamura had an answer. The bout stayed standing the entire time with neither fighter doing a ton of damage.
(Manny Tapia taking pics with fans)
Rafael Dias def Mike Budnik via unanimous dec- In the first fight of the night, Dias was the aggressor getting takedowns at will. Budnick attempted a couple submissions, but wasn't really doing much. Dias almost had a north-south choke in the second, but it wasn't secured tight enough.
(Budnick attempting a leg lock)