Photo by Tracy Lee for Y! Sports
Two of the top bantamweights in the world in Eddie Wineland and Joseph Benavidez met on the Facebook stream of the UFC on Versus 5 prelims. WIneland is a former WEC bantamweight champion while Benavidez had only lost to one man in his career, current champion Dominick Cruz.
Both men were marked up from strikes landed very early in the first round. Wineland looked to stay on the outside throughout the round, not wanting to allow the shorter Benavidez to land any punches. It didn't matter though, as Benavidez landed a very hard combination that added a very bloody (and likely broken) nose to Wineland's trouble. The moment of that combination defined the round and changed the flow of the fight as Wineland appeared to suddenly hesitate to engage.
A strange moment came in the second round as Benavidez got hit with a very solid punch and suddenly turned and moved away yelling at the ref, appearing to think he got poked in the eye. Replays would show that there was an eye poke before the punch but Benevidez was able to recover from the moment and did begin to go back to throwing the right hand. Wineland was able to avoid the takedown attempts of Benavidez until the very end of the round when Benavidez got him down briefly.
Benavidez landed a very solid right hand early in the third round and would land a huge right hand that sent Wineland reeling into the cage. While Eddie was able to continue it became more and more regular that Benavidez was able to find a home for his punches.
At the end of three rounds it appeared clear that Joseph Benavidez had picked up another impressive win. The judges agreed as they all scored the bout 30-27 for Benavidez.