MILWAUKEE -- Joe Benavidez didn't use any "Joe-Jitsu," but still took out Eddie Wineland in a decision at UFC on Versus 5 on Sunday evening. He took all three rounds, winning 30-27 on all three judges cards.
The two exchanged kicks for most of the first round, but Benavidez got the better of the striking combinations, bloodying Wineland's nose and opening a cut on his head with a right hook. Wineland came out with powerful punches early in the second, with Benavidez answering with leg kicks.
During one of Wineland's striking combinations, he appeared to poke Benavidez in the eye. Benavidez tried to stop the fight, but the referee didn't see the poke, and Wineland was able to take advantage and land several strikes.
But Benavidez recovered quickly while blood continued to leak from Wineland's nose. He was able to shake off Benavidez's takedown attempts, but not able to create more offense in the second round.
Benavidez brought on the fireworks in the second round, knocking Wineland into the fence before following up with a flying knee. They turned out to be more flash than substance, as Wineland survived both, but it sure was pretty.
After the bout, Benavidez was happy that he got to show off different aspects of his game.
"I definitely thought the leg kicks were working. I'm a well-rounded fighter and feel I am better on the ground. I go out there and fight as hard as I can every second. I have so much respect for every fighter out there, and don't know who I would like to fight next. Really, I want to fight everyone before it's all said and done."
The difference in this bout was that Wineland, known as a strong striker, was tentative on his feet. Benavidez appeared to implement a game plan exactly as he planned.
This is Wineland's second straight loss to a Team Alpha Male fighter, as he dropped a decision to Urijah Faber in March.