Two bantamweights moving in opposite career directions squared off last night (Nov. 3, 2012) as rising 24 year old prospect Marlon Maraes took on former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres on the main card of World Series of Fighting 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Torres was hoping to bounce back from a devastating knockout loss in his last fight, which left him on the outside looking in with the Ultimate Fighting Championships, but he didn't play to his strengths.
Instead, he chose to kickbox against the kickboxer and he paid the price.
Early on, Moraes showed no signs of respect for Torres, aggressively attacking with his striking, landing thundering leg kicks and pushing to get inside and score with his combinations on the feet.
In one particularly effective flurry, Moraes blasted Torres with a big series of strikes along the fence which had the former champion in serious trouble and opened up a big cut along his brow line.
Despite losing a significant portion of the stand-up battle, Torres did not attempt to take the fight to the ground, which puzzled the ringside commentators, who openly questioned his fight strategy and wondered aloud why he wasn't working for takedowns.
Torres gained a bit of momentum as the fight wore on, but he never did get the fight to the ground. In fact, the only person that ever attempted to take the fight to the canvas was Moraes, who threw Torres to the ground in the opening round and finished the fight by taking him down again.
It appeared that Moraes was coasting to an easy decision victory but the judges made him sweat it out, awarding him the win via split decision.
For Miguel Torres, he paid the price for a puzzling fight strategy. Despite Moraes having clear issues on the ground, Torres never really attempted to put him on his back. When on the feet, he also didn't really utilize his jab to keep distance, repeatedly allowing Moraes to get inside and unload on him with big flurries of blows. It made very little sense to talk so much about how hard he's working on his wrestling and then not use it when he clearly should have.
For Marlon Moraes, he fought extremely aggressively and it paid off. It looked like he caught Torres by surprise with his leg kicks and his power, stepping inside consistently and landing effective shots in combination, even throwing Torres to the ground a couple times just to mix things up, although that wasn't exactly the best idea considering the disparity on the ground. Regardless, he was clearly the aggressor on the feet and landed the more accurate blows and it paid off on the scorecards.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you puzzled by Torres' fight strategy and failure to get it to the ground? What do you think of the future of Marlon Moraes, considering he's just 24 years old?