WEC 37: Wagnney Fabiano Chokes Out Akitoshi Tamura

Wagnney Fabiano beat Akitoshi Tamura with a third-round submission at WEC 37 tonight in Las Vegas, earning a solid -- if not spectacular -- win in his World Extreme Cagefighting debut.

Tamura threw a couple of kicks in the early going, but Fabiano, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, quickly got the fight on the ground. There wasn't a lot of action on the ground in the first round, as both fighters were cautious, but there was a lot of high-level jiu jitsu positioning, and Fabiano did some damage with his elbows.

They had a good exchange on their feet early in the second, but they quickly went to the ground again. At first Tamura controlled Fabiano from rubber guard and appeared to be going on the offensive, but after a few minutes on the ground with little action, referee Steve Mazzagatti stood them up. It quickly went back to the ground again, however, and Fabiano did a little damage before the bell.

At the beginning of the third, Tamura had Fabiano in a guillotine, and Fabiano appeared to be in trouble. But Fabiano did a great job of using his feet to push off the cage, get leverage, and escape. Midway through the third round, Fabiano got into full mount and landed some strikes, and he eventually opened a gash on Tamura's forehead with an elbow. He finally worked his way into a head and arm choke and got Tamura to tap out late in the third.

The win moves Fabiano up the ladder in the WEC's stacked featherweight division, although he likely needs at least one more win before he'll get a title shot. WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown will take on Leonard Garcia at WEC 38 next month, with the winner of that likely to fight Urijah Faber, assuming Faber beats Jens Pulver. Fabiano showed tonight that he's in the mix, but he's not quite in the title picture just yet.

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