Coming into “WEC 47 : Bowles vs. Cruz,” Joseph Benavidez was a huge underdog even though he owned an impressive 11-1 record prior to Saturday night’s fight against former bantamweight champion Miguel Torres.
Many expected Torres to emphatically bounce back from his first loss in 17 bouts, but it was Benavidez who fought like he had something to prove.
Benavidez never looked uncomfortable even with a distinct height and reach disadvantage. It was actually Torres who looked out of sorts as he never really got going against the much more aggressive slugger.
When the fight got to the ground, Torres wasn’t able to use his long legs to keep Benevidez at bay as he started to ground and pound the former champ. However, he was able to land those heel kicks to the back of Benavidez’ legs that looked like they would put any normal man in tears.
Once Benavidez opened up the cut on Torres’ forehead to start the 2nd round, you could tell he smelled blood, literally, and went straight for the kill. He immediately slid his forearms under Torres’ chin and latched onto a guillotine choke that forced the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt to tapout.
You can’t teach the type of killer instinct that Benavidez showcased on Saturday night inside the Nationwide Arena in Colmubus, Ohio. It was reminiscent of Wanderlei Silva from his days in Pride.
Even though Benavidez just lost to newly-minted bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at WEC 42 back in August, he made a strong statement regarding his title aspirations by easily dispatching the once-invincible Torres.
Now, all he can do is wait and see if his phone rings. Regardless of what’s next for the Team Alpha Male fighter, he did everything he could in validating his claim for next crack at the title.