When his standup couldn't produce an explosive finish Brian Bowles turned to his jiu-jitsu game and capitalized on a Will Ribeiro mistake. In a fight dominated by solid exhanges on the feet, Ribeiro shot for a takedown less than a minute into third round. Bowles quickly dropped into guard where secured a choke from the bottom. Ribeiro lifted a hip and Bowles flipped him over to cinch in the choke even harder from the top. Ribeiro (10-2, 1-1 WEC) tapped seconds later at 1:11 of the third round.
Bowles, 28, is now 7-0 and 4-0 in the WEC. He's on the cusp of a title shot against the winner of the main event between Miguel Torres and Manny Tapia.
"I think I've earned a title shot," said Bowles, who won the first two rounds of the fight before securing the finish.
WEC bantamweight Joe Benavidez (9-0) was successful in his WEC debut to open the televised portion of WEC 37. He was on the offensive the entire fight controlling the action with mostly kicks and flying knees. Danny Martinez was reluctant to engage so very few punches connected on either end. The most impressive moment of the fight was a throw by Benavidez. The 5-foot-3 dynamo got Martinez in a headlock and executed a sweet judo tossed.
"It always my gameplan to go out as I can. Danny is tough guy. He has a good style. He's tough in the clinch. It has to be the toughest fight of my career, my first decision."
Benavidez got the unanimous decision 30-27 on all three cards.
- Brian Bowles
- Will Ribeiro