Alright, we’re now into the pay-per-view portion of the show and still NO INTERNET.
Frustrated no longer describes how I’m feeling.
Anyhoo, the main card kicks off with the most dangerous of the UFC newcomers Torres taking on Chuck Liddell’s buddy. The former WEC champ at 135 pounds is no joke—he got that title training himself and, since losing it, has cranked his training up a notch by bringing in some of the best prep guys in the sport.
Kinda feels like they’re tossing Banuelos to the wolves here, but we shall find out if that’s the case.
Both Torres and Banuelos are Mexican so the hype reels are breaking out the old “battle for pride” chestnut. Gotta love the promos.
In the first real upset of the evening, Banuelos enters to Rancid’s “Black Coat, White Shoes, Top Hat”—that’s not the tune I would’ve expected from him (you know, Brown pride and all that), but it’s a welcome addition.
On the other hand, Torres uses mariachi music. Classic.
We’ve also got a Nate Diaz and Junior dos Santos sighting—Nate is behind the media (and just shook hands with Guillard—awkward) while JDS gets floor seats. Oh, and Mayhem Miller is getting kicked out of his seats.
Guess he really doesn’t belong in the UFC.
We’ve got some amazing hairstyles in the Octagon at the moment—Torres is rocking his usual mullet while Banuelos has opted for something out of New Jack City or a Kid ‘n’ Play movie. Pretty sweet.
And yes, I’m discussing ‘dos because the action has yet to start in earnest. We’re on the second minute of the feeling-out process as Torres figures how best to use his edge in reach and Banuelos tries to close the distance.
To nobody’s surprise, the crowd is unhappy and begins to boo.
Miguel continues to focus on the jab, though he slips and momentarily goes to the ground. Still not much to report...
Still nothing but empty jabs and feints...
How do you score a round where neither fighter engages or lands?
Banuelos solves that particular dilemma by landing a loud left hook, but it doesn’t seem to bother Torres.
The horn sounds and is almost drowned out by the boos; call it a 10-9 round for Banuelos thanks to that loud left and aggression.
Rampage Jackson stalks by the cage and turns the crowd’s mood around.
Torres still seems loathe to get closer than the range of his jab, but he’s gonna have to do SOMETHING soon because this hesitance is out of character for him. A low blow requires a few seconds for Banuelos to recompose himself and then we’re back to the empty action.
More boos from the crowd as the first high kick comes from Torres; it doesn’t land.
Torres begins to let his hands go a bit in combination, but Banuelos is up to the task and answers back.
Rampage passes behind the media and causes considerably more stir than the ongoing fight in the Octagon.
Miguel has started to impose his will, but it’s a weak will from the looks of it. A straight right has joined the fray, paired with his lead jab and it’s paying marginal dividends. A kick to the body lands and Antonio responds with a bunch of wild punches.
Another series of wild punches actually lands a couple head-snappers. I’ll give the 10-9 round to Torres, but I’m not committed to it.
A close, strange tête-à-tête enters the final five minutes and it’s anyone’s fight as far as I’m concerned. Torres is certainly the smoother combatant, yet Banuelos’ bursts of movement have been effective.
The boos are getting louder despite more action in the third than the previous 10 minutes and most of it is coming from Miguel Torres. Still, it’s an uncharacteristically boring bout considering what we’ve come to expect from the Chicago native.
One thing is for sure—Banuelos has NOT been thrown to the wolves tonight. He’s been up to the challenge and you’d have to say he’s got Torres out of sorts.
Nevertheless, Miguel appears to be using the left jab-straight right combo to put this one on ice. He’s not winning any fans, but the third round should win him the clash.
Banuelos takes on a sense of urgency as power bombs are coming fast and furiously, not to mention a spinning back kick that lands. The final 10 seconds feature both fighters hell bent for leather, but most of the dangerous stuff misses.
I’d give that round (10-9) and the contest to Torres.
However, I am not a judge.
Miguel Torres defeats Antonio Banuelos by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Torres relates that he fought to his game plan and dodges Rogan’s question about how he’d rate his performance. Seems reasonable.
But not to the crowd.