Round 1: Benavidez comes out swinging and looks for a takedown, but Loveland shrugs him off. Benavidez swings and gets quick takedown, but Loveland slips out just as fast as it happens and he’s back to his feet. Benavidez throws another big shot, just missing, hits with a front kick and goes for the clinch again but only for a moment and they separate again. Benavidez shoots in again, but Loveland stands him up and it’s back to the feet. Benavidez continues to rush in looking for punches, but not connecting on anything solid.
MMAWeekly scores R1 10-9 Joseph Benavidez
Round 2: Loveland tags Benavidez with quick punches, but Benavidez isn’t backing down. Benavidez goes for a takedown and Loveland goes for a kimura, but Benavidez quickly rolls out. Benavidez quickly jumps in and out with quick combinations, but nothing lands, however Loveland can’t keep up with his speed and time punches of his own. Loveland swings for a huge punch and steps too far forward and Benavidez is able to secure a takedown, working from Loveland’s half guard. Loveland is able to get back to full guard, but he’s still stuck underneath Benavidez.
MMAWeekly scores R2 10-9 Joseph Benavidez
Round 3: Loveland is looking for a big punch, maybe feeling that he’s down on the scorecards, but Benavidez isn’t backing down. Benavidez gets a takedown, but a brief scramble ends with both fighters back on the feet. Loveland rushes in and gets clipped and dropped by a quick Benavidez counter, Benavidez then rushes in and takes the fight to the ground. Benavidez lands in side control, throwing back elbows to Loveland’s head. Loveland scrambles out and fires a big knee, just missing Benavidez on the way up. Benavidez slips under for a quick single leg, landing in half guard. It’s back to the feet one more time as the time starts to run down. Loveland is able to trip Benavidez up just before the round ends, but it’s too late.
MMAWeekly scores R3 10-9 Joseph Benavidez
Joseph Benavidez def. Ian Loveland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)