Before his fight with Wagnney Fabiano started, Joseph Benavidez said he eats black belts for breakfast. Well, on Thursday Benavidez definitely lived up to his word and maybe more by submitting Fabiano in the second round of their bantamweight fight at WEC 52.
Benavidez promised an exciting match-up against a Brazilian who has been known for a stifling style in the cage, and the Team Alpha Male fighter came out to prove it. Blasting away at Fabiano with punches and kicks in the first round, Benavidez stayed on the offensive while the Brazilian could only play defense.
Showing off his grappling skills in the second, Benavidez wasn’t going to stop until he got Fabiano in a choke. Catching the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in three different guillotines, the final one brought an end to the fight as Fabiano was locked up with no escape in sight.
“I got that Joe-jitsu on him on the third one and he finally tapped,” Benavidez commented about the submission.
Taking the fight on short notice didn’t seem to bother Benavidez one bit. Rebounding from a loss to Dominick Cruz in August, Benavidez looked like he was ready to climb back up to the top of the bantamweight division.
“I fight, that’s what I do,” Benavidez proclaimed.
Here he comes to save the day. Mighty Mouse is on his way.
The theme song from the famous cartoon mouse fit the fighter with the same nickname in the WEC on Thursday as Demetrious Johnson gave Damacio Page a rude welcome back to the cage after more than a year away, submitting the Jackson’s trained fighter by guillotine choke in the third round.
Page, who underwent multiple shoulder surgeries over the last 12 months, came back in the first round like he never missed a step. Landing several slams and going after Johnson with an arsenal of attacks, it looked like Page was controlling the action as the two fighters headed into the second round.
That’s where the fight changed. Johnson took over with takedowns and ground control wearing Page out for the remaining five minutes of the second round, and continued with the same attack in the third. As the grappling continued in the final minutes, Johnson found himself with a front headlock on Page, transitioning to a guillotine choke. With Johnson on top, Page was unable to get out of trouble and was forced to tap out.
As one of the smaller bantamweights in the division, Johnson knew that he had to make a few adjustments heading into Thursday’s fight and in the end it all paid off.
“This time when I came in this fight, I really worked on my crossfit, tried to get more power because I’m a small 135er,” Johnson said after the win. “I just had to get on a little meat and muscle for Damacio Page cause he’s real strong.”
Conditioning also played a major factor as the fight wore on with Johnson gaining strength, and Page fading away.
“I have to put work into him until he basically was drowning, and I was the shark that came up and got him from underneath,” Johnson commented.
Johnson made sure to warn the UFC that the bantamweights are coming, as he will now move over to the Octagon for his next performance after a big win to close out his WEC career.