||04-13-2012 10:37 PM
R1: Vila, looking massive for a bantamweight, has a high kick blocked. The pair feel each other out for a slow first minute. Inside low kick from Betao. Vila shoots a double and quickly switches to a single on Betao's sprawl, but the Brazilian stuffs it. Both narrowly miss on big shots. Vila finds the mark with a sweeping left hook and is establishing himself as the aggressor. Stiff left from Vila, then another. Betao counters with a right-left combo on his third. Consecutive Vila high kicks are blocked and Betao turns it on with a strong combo and flying knee that don't land, but back Vila up. Right hook and right high kick sequence from Betao, then an inside kick to start changing the tide.
Surprisingly, Betao gets a takedown on the former Olympian medalist in wrestling and scoots around to his back with the rear-waist cinch. In the closing seconds, Betao elevates Vila and completes a takedown. Despite the late round success, neither demonstrably won effective striking and/or grappling. 10-10.
R2: Betao busy cutting angles in the second. Vila unfurls two straight, stiff punches, then drops level for a single that only keeps Betao down for a second or two. Moments later, Vila shoots again and gets it, this time containing Betao against the fence. Betao takes a knee and uses strong-side wrist control on Vila to stand up. Betao more active now with quick hands and a roundhouse kick but they're dodged. Betao now counters successfully on a Vila kick as the Cuban's defensive motion has slowed.
Vila gets halfway into a high single but Betao spins into a leg lock with blinding quickness, and they break and restart on the feet. Another close round, but I'm going 10-9 Vila for the slightly more effective striking and Betao's complacency.
R3: Vila scores an inside kick and evades more blows from Betao. Betao answers with a low kick. Nice 3-punch combo from Betao, who then stuffs a Vila takedown. Left hook counter from Betao, then a stiff right hook and a left straight. Vila now standing stationary with reduced output. Betao pushes him back with two charging combinations, then a third. Vila in serious retreat-mode now and just backpedaling from constant Betao combinations. All Betao with a minute and a half left.
Vila snares another single but Betao's takedown defense is on-point tonight. Betao clocks Vila with a wide right and holds his ground with big punches. Betao catches a Vila kick and threatens to ground him but Vila's balance is uncanny. Clear 10-9 for Betao, making the fight a draw (29-29) on my card.
The judges have it 29-28 for Luis "Betao" Noguiera, who defeats Alexis Vila by unanimous decision.
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