The 411 MMA Top 10 10.07.13: Top 10 Eddie Wineland Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 10.07.2013
From his battle with Urijah Faber at UFC 128 and his loss last month to Renan Barao to his bouts with Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen, George Roop and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 Eddie Wineland fights!
Eddie Wineland's Top Ten Fights
Hey there gentle readers, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we stay with the bantamweights as Eddie Wineland gets the spotlight. I was disappointed as he came up short against Renan Barao at UFC 165, but Wineland is still one of the greatest all time bantamweights and one of my favorites. The inaugural WEC bantamweight champion, Wineland has used his striking and takedown defense to consistently be one of the best over the years at 135 lbs. The fights are ranked based on fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion.
• VS Wade Choate at C3:Domination- Won via first round submission (strikes).
• VS John Hosman at IHC 9: Purgatory- Won via first round rear naked choke.
• VS Joel Cleverly at Maximum Combat 6- Won via first round submission.
• VS Chase Beebe at WEC 26- Lost via unanimous decision.
10: VS Renan Barao UFC 165
At first I thought this was just going to be an honorable mention, but after some thought it starts this week's list off in the tenth spot. So back in 2006 Eddie Wineland became the first WEC bantamweight champion. He would never successfully defend the title, but he would scratch and claw his way back to the top as he got another chance at gold seven years later. That makes this fight so significant when looking at Wineland's career. He could have just been another footnote in MMA history like so many other early WEC champions, but he kept himself relevant for years and got another chance to reclaim his title. Yea he got knocked out with a spinning back kick in the second round, but the first round was good and really close. He defended Barao's takedowns and his counter striking looked like he might give Barao trouble into the later rounds. Unfortunately he would duck the wrong way in the second and now it'll take years of hard work to get back into title contention.
9: VS Joseph Benavidez UFC Live: Lytle vs Hardy
Eddie Wineland came into the UFC on a four fight winning streak and fought Urijah Faber in the co main event at UFC 128, but he lost the fight and would find himself demoted to the Facebook prelims for his next fight. Joseph Benavidez on the other hand was successful in his UFC debut on the same night and was only two fights removed from challenging Dominick Cruz for the WEC title by the time these two met. The first round was all Benavidez as Wineland was left bloody. The second round was closer as Wineland was able to defend the takedown and was able to get in some good shots as Benavidez was coming in. Third round was fun to watch, but Benavidez was the clear winner at this point. He was coming away with it with his flashy striking, but Wineland kept it competitive. He caught a leg kick and nailed Benavidez right in the face and had him in a guillotine in the closing minutes of the fight. Benavidez won every round by unanimous decision, but still a fun fight. This would be Benavidez's last fight at bantamweight before dropping down to flyweight.
8:VS George Roop WEC 46
George Roop competed on the eighth season of TUF as a lightweight. He reached the semifinals and would later go 1-2 in the UFC before getting cut in 2009. Roop made his WEC debut in January 2010 against Eddie Wineland as he dropped down to bantamweight for the first time in his career. George Roop isn't a great fighter, but he always fun to watch as he's just huge for bantamweight at 6 ft 1 in. A cool fight to watch as the smaller Wineland defeated Roop by unanimous decision as all three judges scored it 30-27. Roop would immediately return to featherweight where he would be an average fighter for a couple years, but he made his return to bantamweight in 2013 and has won two in a row.
7: VS Will Campuzano WEC 49
Will Campuzano came into this fight with a nice 7-1 record, but he wasn't ready for the huge jump up in competition that was Eddie Wineland. Wineland was on one of the best streaks of his career as he had two impressive wins in a row. They were having a fun kickboxing match and Campuzano was holding his own for the first nine minutes of the fight. Then Wineland just exploded on him as Campuzano was sent reeling up against the cage. He was able to survive the first flurry and stand back up, but it wasn't long until Wineland had him back up against the cage and started unloading on him. It was eventually a body shot that brought him down to the ground where he was finished.
6:VS Urijah Faber UFC 128
The WEC ran it's last show at the end of December 2010 and the UFC absorbed their lightweight through bantamweight divisions. Eddie Wineland was victorious on the last WEC show and came into the UFC on a four fight winning streak as he tried to get back to the top of the division. This was only Urijah Faber‘s second fight at bantamweight after his successful debut against Takeya Mizugaki. This was a huge fight for both former WEC champions as they met in the co-main event of UFC 128 and both were title contention at the time. The first round was close to perfect for Wineland as his takedown defense and boxing were so good. He defended all but one of Faber's takedown, sweep, and trip attempts. Wineland even scored a takedown of his own. The second round was completely different as Faber brought it down to the ground and just smothered him shots for nearly the entire round. The third round was really close as Wineland was able to defend the early takedowns and get in plenty of quick jabs. Then Faber turned it up a notch. His quick striking combinations set up a takedown, a slam, and some good elbows on the ground as the fight ended. Faber won by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) and would go on to challenge for the title next. Both men looked great in their first UFC fight.
5: VS Ken Stone WEC 53
The WEC's last event was a great one as the show was stacked with some of the organization's best fighters from over the years. It had Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson, Dominick Cruz, Scott Jorgensen, Donald Cerrone, Jamie Varner, Brad Pickett, Ricardo Lamas, and Renan Barao. On the Prelims, Eddie Wineland took on Ken Stone. This was Stone's WEC debut; he came in with a nice 9-1 record and was undefeated at bantamweight. Wineland knocked Stone out cold when he slammed him down in the middle of the opening round. Wineland left the organization on a high note as he picked up his fourth win in a row and his second Knockout of the Night in a row.
4: VS Manny Tapia WEC 43
This was a must win situation for both Eddie Wineland and Manny Tapia at WEC 43. Both were coming off two consecutive losses in the WEC as Wineland had recently lost his WEC bantamweight title and Tapia had recently unsuccessfully challenged Miguel Torres for the title. Both really needed a win to secure job safety. The two men had a rough battle for fifteen minutes that night. Tapia got in plenty of good strong shots to keep himself alive, but Wineland left him battered and beaten. Every judge gave Wineland all three rounds as his jabs and striking combinations gave him the clear edge that night. They would have won Fight of the Night if Benson Henderson vs Donald Cerrone wasn't in the main event.
3: VS Brad Pickett UFC 155
Coming off his first UFC win against Scott Jorgensen, Wineland took on Brad Pickett at UFC 155. One Punch Pickett is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC today. The fight started out really fun and action packed. Like many Eddie Wineland fights, this one was spent entirely standing up. The first round was definitely the most exciting as Wineland's counter striking was so good, but Pickett kept moving forward. They slowed down a bit in a close second round, but Wineland won it as he kept moving in and out with good striking combinations. Pickett took the third round as Wineland tried to avoid any kind of striking exchange in a disappointing way to end the fight. Wineland won by split decision and it would be enough to earn a title shot against Renan Barao.
2: VS Antonio Banuelos WEC 20
Eddie Wineland made his WEC debut at WEC 20 when he fought Antonio Banuelos to determine who would become the organization's inaugural bantamweight champion. Wineland entered this one on a seven fight winning streak. WEC 20 was a pretty stacked card as it also had heavyweight and light heavyweight title fights on the show. Nate Diaz and Glover Teixeira were also victorious on the show. Wineland won in the first round when he connected with a nice head kick and followed it up with punches to win the championship. Zuffa would purchase the organization six months later and Wineland would lose the title in his next WEC fight against Chase Beebe.
1: VS Scott Jorgensen UFC on FX 3
Coming off two consecutive losses, Eddie Wineland was in a must win situation when he took on former number one contender Scott Jorgensen. Wineland used his size and reach advantage to come out to an early lead with his jabs. Jorgensen started to connect with some big right hands, but Wineland dropped him with a stiff jab. Jorgensen got back up and went for a takedown, but Wineland took him down first. Wineland finished the round with some stiff striking combinations. Jorgensen came out furious in the second round as he immediately scored a takedown and opened up a huge gash over Wineland's left eye. They stood back up and started unloading on each other. Wineland connected with a huge right cross with one minute left in the round. Jorgensen went down and he was out cold after a few complimentary ground strikes. Both guys won Fight of the Night, but Wineland became the first person knockout Jorgensen in a fight that may have saved his UFC career. For me this is an easy number one choice this week.
• So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
• As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
• Go check out Robert Practor's new column, What's Next. It's an interesting read and something different from the other stuff in the MMA section.
• Next week will either be Jake Shields top ten or the best submission artists.