Early in the championship fight at WEC 37, Torres showed his versatility by using a nine-inch reach advantage over his opponent, landing jab after jab that Tapia struggled to deal with.
While Tapia was able to land a few solid body punches throughout the first round, it was Torres who seemed as if he was toying with his opponent hitting jabs and combinations that kept him off balance all night.
Before the fight ever started, Torres had commented that he felt he'd be more than comfortable on the feet with Tapia. He showed his dominance during the fight as well.
Torres hit Tapia with hard shots repeatedly, but to his opponent's credit he was able to survive and still come forwards early on.
It was the second round that put Tapia away as Torres landed two different punches in the session that hurt him, the second of which brought about the end of the fight.
Torres landed a big right hand that put Tapia down and immediately the champion jumped on him, hitting some stiff elbow shots and a few more punches before referee Josh Rosenthal stepped in to stop the bout.
"Last time I fought I got kind of emotional, I got kind of crazy. If I calm myself, I fight like this pretty much all the time," Torres said after the fight about his performance. "I knew Manny was going to come with big punches. I wanted to keep my range, use my jab to measure him up, and throw a couple of fakes and hit him with a big right hand."
With two title defenses under his belt and 35 wins to only 1 loss, Torres proved once again why he is one of the best fighters in the world. He reiterated that he wants to continue to face only top talent in the future as well.
"The next step is to fight the next person in line, whoever that may be. The WEC has a lot of great 135-pounders out there. I'm here to fight the best in the world," Torres stated.
That next step may be a title defense against undefeated 135-pound fighter Brian Bowles in early 2009, as the champion speculated prior to this event when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.
Bowles kept his spotless record intact at WEC 37 by defeating top 10 fighter Will Ribeiro.
Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia R1- Torres with a stiff jab that sends Tapia back. Torres using his 9 inch reach advantage and sticking the jab in Tapia's face. Torres with a combination. The clinch and Torres delivers two knees. Tapia fires back with a body shot. Torres does a rolling axe kick that misses. Tapia with a couple of more body shots. They stand and bang out the last few seconds.MMAWeekly scores round one 10-9 for Miguel Torres.
R2- Torres landing jab after jab snapping Tapia's head back. Tapia lands a good right hand that Torres doesn't respond to. Spinning back fist by Torres. The crowd chants, Torres, Torres, Torres. Straight right hand by Torres that sends Tapia to the canvas. Tapia gets back up and Torres clinches and delivers knees. A left-right combination sends Tapia to the canvas again. Torres swoops in and finishes him with strikes on the ground.
Miguel Torres def. Manny Tapia by TKO (strikes) at 3:04, R2.
Akitoshi Tamura vs. Wagnney Fabiano R1- Fabiano gets the takedown early but ate a knee in the process. Fabiano moves to half guard but Tamura works back to full guard. Fabiano passes to mount but Tamura gets back to half guard. Tamura doing a good job of not taking damage. Fabiano lands a couple of short elbows. Round one a technical ground battle.
MMAWeekly scores round one 10-9 for Wagnney Fabiano.
R2- Tamura with a knee to start the round. Fabiano answers with punches and Tamura lands a kick to the body. Fabiano gets the takedown while Tamura works his rubber guard. Fabiano postures up and lands a few hammer fists. The referee stands them up with 1:20 left in the round. Tamura with a kick to the body Fabiano shoots and gets a double leg and moves to side control and then mount. Fabiano goes for an arm bar as the round ends.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Fabiano.
R3- Fabiano works for a takedown after a brief exchange and Tamura puts on a guillotine choke. Fabiano works out of it using the cage to walk over the leg. Fabiano in side control and moves to mount before moving back to side control. Fabiano postures up and lands hammer fists and elbows causing a cut to Tamura's forehead. Fabiano applies a head and arm choke forcing Tamura to tap out with just seconds left in the fight.
Wagnney Fabiano def. Akitoshi Tamura by submission (head & arm choke) at 4:48, R3.
Brian Bowles vs. Will RibeiroR1- They start slow before Bowles lands a combination. Bowles loading up big shots and getting the better of the brief exchanges. Ribeiro lands a spinning side kick. Bowles answers with a combination. Ribeiro gets a double leg takedown and Bowles slaps on a guillotine choke. Ribeiro gets out of the submission but Bowles has the mount. Ribeiro works his way back to full guard. The round comes to a close with Bowles working ground and pound.
MMAWeekly scores round one 10-9 for Brian Bowles.
R2- Ribeiro opens the round with a leg kick, but it's Bowles with a combination to follow. Bowles catches a leg kick and in the scramble, ends up on the bottom. Bowles lands a solid up kick and works his way back to his feet. Ribeiro lands a combination. Bowles secures a takedown and Ribeiro applies a guillotine. Bowles gets out and works from half guard. The referee stands them up with 23 seconds to go in the round. After a short exchange, Bowles gets another takedown.
MMAWeekly scores round two 10-9 for Bowles.
R3- Ribeiro picks up the pace. Bowles catches another kick and lands a big right hand. Ribeiro shoots for a takedown and Bowles puts on a guillotine and finishes the fight.
Brian Bowles def. Will Ribeiro by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:11, R3.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny MartinezR1- After a brief moment of feeling each other out, they clinch but quickly separate. Benavidez push kicked Martinez back and Martinez works for a takedown that Benavidez fends off. Benavidez lands a left hand that stuns Martinez and follows up with a push kick to the face. Martinez secures a takedown but Benavidez immediately gets back to his feet. Martinez looking to land one big shot while Benavidez works combinations. Benavidez tosses Martinez to the canvas and lands in side control and that's how the round ends.
MMAWeekly scores round one 10-9 for Benavidez.
R2- Benavidez opens the round attempting to land high kicks but they miss their mark. As Martinez tries to close the distance, he's met with combinations. It's Benavidez setting the pace, picking his shots. After landing a couple of knees from the clinch, Benavidez works for a takedown but Martinez defends and they're back standing. Martinez flurries in the final seconds but nothing landed clean.
MMAWeekly scores round two 10-9 for Benavidez.
R3- Martinez tries to push the action as the round begins but Benavidez keeps him at bay with push kicks and leg kicks. Benavidez is carrying his hands low. Benavidez lands a flying knee followed by an uppercut. Martinez catches Benavidez with a left hand followed by a knee to the body that stuns Benavidez. The round ends with the fighters clinched against the cage.
MMAWeekly scores round three 10-9 for Martinez.
Joseph Benavidez def. Danny Martinez by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards).
Johny Hendricks vs. Justin HaskinsR1- Haskins starts with a flurry, dropping some big knees and takes Hendricks up against the cage. The fighters separate, and Haskins rushes Hendricks and catches Hendricks with a knee to the eye. The fighters clinch up and Haskins lifts Hendricks above his head and slams him to the canvas for an amazing takedown. The fighters scramble and stand. Hendricks gets Haskins in a clinch and now puts Haskins up against the cage. Hendricks now takes Haskins down and they get right back up. Haskins then hits Hendricks with a hugh right and a take down but a horn signals the end of the round.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Haskins
R2- Haskins clinches Hendricks early and takes him against the cage. Haskins looks to now have blood streaming from the top of his head, Hendricks now lands a massive left, now taking control he unloads punch after punch until the referee has seen enough and the fight is stopped.
Johny Hendricks def. Justin Haskins by TKO (Strikes) at 4:07 R2
-Mark Munoz vs. Ricardo Barros R1-Barros grabs a kick from Munoz and they end up against the cage. Barros takes Munoz to the ground with Barros on his back, closing the buard on Munoz. Munoz transitions to side control and rains down punishment on Barros. A continued barrage of leather by Munoz ultimately leads to the referee halting the contest.
Mark Munoz def Ricardo Barros by TKO (Strikes) at 2:26 R1
Diego Nunes vs. Cole ProvinceR1- Nunes connects with a couple leg kicks right off the bat, Nunes circling and Province lunges and ties up Nunes against the fence. Province ends up against the fence taking a few knees from Nunes. The referee splits them up and centers them. The fighters circle and Province attempts a throw but ends up in a clunch exchanging knees. Province takes Nunes down and gets side control, Province takes Nunes back and Nunes stands carrying Province on his back and then resting him against the fence while standing, the fighters drop to the ground and scramble until the round ends MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Province
R2- Nunes giving serious kicks early on and they then clinch up and separate. Province trying for a takedown putting pressure on Nunes. Nunes taking Province up against the fence. The two exchange body shots and knees to the abdomen by Province. Both working out of the clinch as they brake as the fighters go to the ground. Province now in Nunes guard and Nunes goes for the armbar but time runs out MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Province
R3- Nunes connects with a big leg kick, and Province clinches Nunes up but Nunes fights his way out of the bad situation. The fighters end up on the ground and Nunes moves to Province's guard as he closes it and takes a few elbows and punches to the head from Nunes. Nunes stays on top, continuing to rain down strategic elbows with Province in full defensive posture. Province trying to get his right leg over Nunes head but continuing to be punished by Nunes. Province's left hand is trapped and he has but one had to defend. Nunes trying to push the pace, but Province slowing the pace with his defence, the referee brings them to their feet. One on their feet Province gets a knee to end the round.
MMAWeekly Scores the round 10-9 for Nunes and the bout 29-28 for Province.
Diego Nunes def Cole Province by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Bart Palaszewski vs. Alex Karalexis R1- Fighters feel each other out and circle with Karalexis getting an inside leg kick, they exchange leg kicks. They continue to exchange one leg kick after another and Karalexis punches Palaszewski taking him against the cage. The fighters make their way back center and Karalexis connects twice landing a big right but Palaszewski stays standing. Karalexis scores a big uppercut and an accidental shot to the eye. The referee stops the fight for a short pause and Palaszewski connects with a nice leg kick after starting up again. Karalexis grabs and holds the right leg of a Palaszewski kick attempt and backs him against the cage but they release and center again. Karalexis connects with a huge right and is saved by the round ending.
MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Karalexis
R2- Karalexis connects with a few body shots, and Palaszewski connects with a big leg kick and takes Karalexis to the ground. Palaszewski follows but cannot finish him, but Karakexis is noticeably rocked. They stand and exchange again, Palaszewski gets Karalexis with a roundhouse right kick and catches Karalexis with a shot to the right ear and the referee stops the fight
Bart Palaszewski def. Alex Karalexis by TKO (Referee Stoppage) at 3:49 R2
Cub Swanson vs. Hiroyuki TakayaR1- Takaya misses an early high kick as they dance early. Swanson connects with a big left, and Takaya gets a good low leg kick in. Swanson tries for the hip toss but is put up against the fence by Takaya. Swanson tries for a Guillotine over the top but Takaya gets away. Big combinations by Swanson as Swanson takes Takaya against the fence in a clinch. Takaya pushes away and connects with a right left combination. They exchange leg kicks and Swanson catches one on the chin. Takaya takes Swanson to the ground with a leg sweep and Swanson survives by getting back up and exchanging with Takaya to end the round. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Swanson
R2- Takaya lunges and clinches up Swanson. The fighters tumble to the mat and then get up and seperate. Swanson connects combinations and Swanson connecting with a several power punches. Takaya connecting with inside leg kicks and Swanson connects with a nice right, get a toss and Swanson takes him down and gets the mount. Takaya gives him his back and Swanson tries the figure 4 body lock, Takaya dropping his chin to avoid choke. Takaya switches sides and Swanson continues to try and get the submission but time runs out. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Swanson
R3- Takaya gives a big left and Swanson answers. Takaya continues to give leg licks, Swanson grabs Takaya's leg and takes him down. As Swanson pressures Takaya against the cage, Takaya uses the cage to his advantage while the fighters continue to scramble. The fighters stand and seperate. Takaya connects with a knee and a huge leg kick that now is noticabaly affecting Swanson. They clinch up and move against the cage. Referee tells them to pick up the pace as they continue to rest against the fence. The fighters end up on the mat with a judo throw from Takaya to end the round MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Swanson and the fight 30-27 for Swanson.
Cub Swanson def. Hiroyuki Takaya by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Shane Roller vs. Mike BudnikR1 -- Roller takes down Budnik right away. Budnik tries for an armbar, Roller gets out and works on a guillotine choke, gets it and Budnik taps.
Shane Roller def. Mike Budnik by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:01 R1