Round 1 - Loveland puts Benavidez on the defensive with lunging shots but doesn't connect. The fighters scramble from the clinch. Benavidez looks for high kicks and eats a punch. Benavidez still the aggressor and gets the takedown, but Loveland hops right back up. Loveland lands a nice knee to the head but eats an equally impressive counter punch. Benavidez clinches and delivers knees against the cage, but Loveland breaks and partially connects on one of his own. Loveland lands a nice but sloppy combo. Benavidez is stalking and shoots, but Loveland fends it off. Benavidez presses him against the cage. The fighters trade nice shots in the center ans then leg kicks. Benavidez still is the stalker, but he's getting hit with the game plan and due to Loveland's reach. Benavidez gets through a nice right, but Loveland quickly counters. Benavidez shoots, but Loveland again stuffs it. Benavidez throws a leg kick and eats a right cross. Loveland connects on a lunging knee to the head and follows with a right. MMAjunkie.com scores an entertaining round 10-9 for Loveland.
Round 2 - Loveland stalks with punches, and Benavidez tags him with a knee. Loveland moves in again, but Benavidez breaks away. Loveland again moves in with lunging shots, but Benavidez scampers away. Benavidez's high kicks come up short, but he shoots and finally gets a takedown. Loveland grabs a kimura, reveres the position and gets back to his feet in a nice transition. Benavidez tags him with a left once up. Benavidez shoots, but Loveland stuffs it and pushes him to his back. Benavidez nearly gets caught in a guillotine on the way up. They reset. Benavidez shoots, comes up short, and Loveland pops him with a hammerfist before he's up. Benavidez shoots again, but Loveland easily defends. Benavidez unleashes a wild combo, and the final punch lands nicely. Loveland sidesteps next the next one. Benavidez lands a jab and then a front kick. He moves in with another combo, but he's not getting much behind the punches. Benavidez lands a couple punches and then ducks when Loveland shoots. Loveland nearly flies over him, but Benavidez grabs him and puts him on his back. Benavidez works from half guard. The pace slows as Loveland ties him up. Benavidez works some elbows. Loveland hops back up and narrowly checks a high kick. It's a close round, but MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Benavidez.
Round 3 - Benavidez wings a left but eats a counter right. Loveland moves in with two nice rights and then delivers a solid knee when Benavidez shoots. Benavidez wings a left that just misses. Benavidez creates distance with a front kick and then partially lands an overhand right. Benavidez shoots, but Loveland stuffs it. Benavidez shoots and gets the double-leg takedown. Loveland is against the cage and tries to get back up and gets to his knees. He's back up, and Benavidez seems a bit frustrated. Loveland connects with a lunging right while easily shrugging off a high kick. Benavidez finally gets through a heavy blow and forces the takedown. He moves into side control. Benavidez works elbows to the head. Loveland rolls to his knees and gets back up and tags Benavidez with a knee in the process. Loveland throws a wild body kick that aprtially lands. Benavidez shoots and gets the single leg and forces another takedown with a minute to go. Loveland again escapes, though. Loveland lands a nice combo and then a flying knee and then drags Benavidez to the mat. Benavidez is back up, though, just as the round ends. It's another close round, but the big punch midway through got Benavidez the round, 10-9, and the fight, 29-28, on our card. It's close, though. Joseph Benavidez def. Ian Loveland via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)