Miguel Torres fell in a controversial judges' decision. | File Photo: Sherdog.com

The once-beaten Demetrious Johnson wrestled, grappled and willed his way to a unanimous decision over former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres at UFC 130 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

All three judges scored it 29-28 for the 5-foot-3 Johnson, an emerging force at 135 pounds.

Though the entertaining 15-minute encounter resulted in a unanimous decision, it was highly competitive, as Torres answered repeated takedowns from Johnson with a hyperactive guard. However, Johnson spent much of the match on top, perhaps swaying the judges to his side. Torres attacked relentlessly with leg locks, triangles and elbows from the bottom, sweeping Johnson from his back on more than one occasion.

Johnson landed the most significant punch of the fight -- an overhand right -- early in round three, fought free from a Torres mount and capped the final stanza with a late takedown. The 24-year-old Madisonville, Ky., native improved to 2-0 inside the Octagon.

Takedowns, ground-and-pound and a significant strength advantage carried Tim Boetsch to a one-sided unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Kendall Grove in a middleweight matchup. All three judges scored it 30-27.

Boetsch scored with a variety of takedowns, including a beautiful judo throw in the second round. Grove simply could not stay upright long enough to put together any kind of an offensive attack. Boetsch, a former light heavyweight, closed strong and showed no ill effects from the weight cut to 185 pounds. He grounded Grove three times in the final round, as he won for the fifth time in six fights.

“I’m certainly glad I [moved to middleweight],” said Boetsch, who has joined forces with respected trainer Matt Hume. “I felt great in there -- really strong. I’m definitely looking to make a run.

Gleison Tibau File Photo

Tibau has won four of five.

American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau submitted Rafaello Oliveira with a second-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary lightweight bout. An injury replacement for WEC import Bart Palaszewski, Oliveira asked out of the fight 3:28 into round two.

Tibau controlled the first round with takedowns and power punches and then turned up the heat. The 27-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt delivered a takedown in the second period and showered Oliveira with punches from the top. Ultimately, Oliveira surrendered his back, and Tibau sank his hooks. The choke and the tapout followed soon after.

Tibau, who has won four of his last five fights, improved to 9-5 in the UFC.

Once-beaten bantamweight prospect Michael McDonald outpointed Strikeforce veteran Chris Cariaso en route to a split verdict on the scorecards. Two of the three cageside judges ruled in McDonald’s favor by 29-28 counts; a third scored it 30-27 for Cariaso.

McDonald landed the stouter strikes in the first round and secured a double-leg in the second, consolidating the takedown by passing guard and moving to full mount. Cariaso enjoyed his most productive stretch in round three, as he mixed punches with kicks and scored with a takedown of his own. Still, he could not keep the 20-year-old McDonald from his sixth win in as many outings.

Renan “Barao” spoiled the promotional debut of Cole Escovedo, as he notched a unanimous decision in a preliminary bantamweight matchup. Scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Barao, who has rattled off 16 consecutive victories.

A Nova Uniao representative, Barao scored with multiple takedowns in all three rounds and kept Escovedo guessing with a variety of strikes, from punches and leg kicks to flying knees. Escovedo threatened with submissions in round one and three, but his efforts went for naught, as the former WEC featherweight champion lost for the third time in four fights.

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