Dominick Cruz vs Brian Bowles
In the classic match-up between speed vs power… speed was victorious on Saturday night in Columbus. For two rounds, Cruz controlled the fight using his fast hands and feet, peppering Bowles face in the process. You could see the frustration in Bowles face just minutes into the fight, after realizing he couldn’t find Cruz at all with punches. When Bowles would try to come in with a flurry to get the momentum in his favor, Cruz would easily get a take down and control the top position with ease. Unfortunately the fight was stopped before the start of the third round when the doctor’s said Bowles couldn’t continue due to a broken right hand. If the fight did continue, the outcome probably wouldn’t have been much different.
Dominick Cruz – The early word on Cruz’s first title defense is believed to be a rematch with Joesph Benavidez. I really hope this isn’t true. They fought each other just seven months ago, and Cruz completely dominated the fight. I’d like to see Scott Jorgensen or Damacio Page (pending he beats Antonio Banuelos in April) get the first shot.
Brian Bowles – With another broken hand, Bowles might be out for a while again. With that said, on his return I’d like to see him go up against Wagnney Fabiano, Frank Gomez, or Scott Jorgensen if he doesn’t get the title shot.
Joesph Benavidez vs Miguel Torres
My how things can change in a just a few months in the sport of MMA. Seven months ago, Miguel Torres was WEC’s reining bantamweight champion, in the top five of everyone’s pound for pound lists, and talks of moving up to 155 to fight BJ Penn were running ramped. Now, he’s lost two in a row wondering what his next move is. At WEC 47, Joesph Benavidez executed a flawless game plan since the start of the opening bell. He kept himself out of the reach of Torres’ jab with good footwork, while countering with body kicks. And then with good timed take downs, Benavidez kept Torres on his back and stayed out of harm’s way. Half way through the second round, Benavidez got another take down and landed a couple big elbows that cut open a huge gash in the former champ’s forehead. Then in a scramble, Benavidez locked in a powerful guillotine choke from the mount position and Torres was forced to tap. An impressive showing for the Team Alpha Male member.
Joesph Benavidez – As noted above, Benavidez might be the first to challenge the new champ, Dominick Cruz. I preferably would like to see him go up against another top 5 guy in the division before getting the title shot. Damacio Page, Brian Bowles, Scott Jorgensen, or Wagnney Fabiano would be great match-ups.
Miguel Torres – Torres just needs a win. A step back in competition might do some good for the former champ in his next fight. Charlie Valencia or Frank Gomez would be nice suitable opponents.
Javier Vazquez vs Jens Pulver
Jens Pulver landed a few leg kicks early, but it didn’t take long for Vazquez to drag him to the mat. Once on the floor, Vazquez easily moved around getting to better positions until he locked in an armbar and forced Pulver to tap. After the fight, Jens Pulver hinted at retirement again. As for Vazquez, he finally gets his first win in the WEC cage after losing two close split decision fights.
Javier Vazquez – I would love to see a fight between Vazquez and Cub Swanson. The winner would sling shot his name into the title picture in the featherweight division.
Jens Pulver – It’s time to hang up the gloves for the former UFC Lightweight Champion. He just doesn’t have the ability to hang with top fighters in the world these days. If he still wants to fight, he’d still be a great draw for local shows but i doubt he’d want that hassle anymore.
LC Davis vs Devidas Taurosevicius
Two fighters with the exact same style of fighting never usually make for an entertaining fight, and this one was no different. The two fighters fought for position in the clinch for most of the three round fight, but neither was able to gain an advantage. Each fighter was able to get a take down every now and then, but no offense was ever mounted as each fighter was able to get back to their feet quickly. After the fight came to the end, one judge saw the fight as a draw, the other two were able to see the advantage for LC Davis somehow, earning him the majority decision victory.
LC Davis – With the victory, that makes it three in a row for Davis, putting his name in the title picture. I’d like to see Davis get a fight with Josh Grispi or Mike Thomas Brown to determine the #1 contender against Aldo or Faber.
Devidas Taurosevicius – With the fight being so evenly matched, i don’t see the loss hurting Taurosevicius on the ladder a top the featherweight division. A fight with Rafael Assuncao, Cub Swanson, or a rematch with Javier Vasquez might be possible for his next fight.
Karen Darabedyan vs Bart Palaszewski
Bart Palaszewski looked like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on Saturday night. Palaszewski was tagged on the feet before Darabedyan went for the take down. Darabedyan from the top position continued the onslaught. Meanwhile, Palaszewski was staying active in the guard, looking for an armbar or triangle chokes. Darabedyan was able to avoid the submissions for most of the first round until there was only 25 seconds let in the 1st round. Palaszewski secured the armbar and forced the tap from Darabedyan. The win for Palaszewski is his 2nd in a row in the WEC.
Bart Palaszewski – After the victory, Palaszewski should see a step up in competition. Ed Ratcliff or Rob McCullough are possible solid match-ups for the crafty veteran.
Karen Darabedyan – A step back for Darabedyan is probably in order. Wrestling stand out Dave Jansen or Marcus Hicks would be great fights.
Scott Jorgensen vs Chad George
Well it was an extremely short night for these two bantamweights. Fifteen seconds into the fight, Chad George shot in for a take down but a perfect sprawl from Jorgensen spoiled that plan. From there, Jorgensen locked in a tight guillotine choke and forced George to tap at the 31 second mark in the opening round. Scott Jorgensen has been on a rampage in the division, and may have earned himself a title shot.
Scott Jorgensen – I personally hope Jorgensen is awarded the first shot at Dominick Cruz’s title. That would be such a great fight. If not, Brian Bowles, Wagnney Fabiano, or Miguel Torres are likely opponents.
Chad George – I’d like to see George against WEC new-comer Jesse Moreng, Ivan Lopez, or Will Campuzano.
Chad Mendes vs Erik Koch
Team Alpha Male member, Chad Mendes didn’t sway away from what everyone thought he was going to do in his WEC debut. For three rounds, he used his elite wrestling background to keep Koch on his back and lay down some punishment from the top. There were a couple nervous moments for Mendes in the fight. Koch locked on a triangle choke in the 1st round, but Mendes survived. In the 3rd round, Koch landed a head kick that opened up a gash that stopped the fight for a doctor’s examination. He was allowed to continue and earn the one-sided unanimous decision.
Chad Mendes – A fight with Mackens Semerzier would be a great fight. The winner would be the one of the top prospects in the featherweight division.
Erik Koch – I would love to see the grappling battle with WEC-newcomer Chan Sung Jung, who should be signing with the promotion sometime this week.
Anthony Pettis vs Danny Castillo
Castillo, the better wrestler, scored an early take down but couldn’t keep Pettis on the mat. A couple minutes later, carnage occurred. Pettis followed a jab with a head kick that would make Mirko Cro Cop proud. Castillo was out cold before he hit the floor. Referee Jerry Poe was slow on the stoppage and Pettis landed four or five unnecessary shots to his unconscious opponent. A huge win for the young lightweight prospect. As for Castillo, that’s his second loss in a row, taking his name out of title consideration for the time being.
Anthony Pettis – Chris Horodecki would be a nice opponent for Pettis following his WEC 47 win.
Danny Castillo – A step back for Castillo is necessary after two consecutive losses. Possible next opponents could be Karen Darabedyan, Dave Jansen, or Kamal Shalorus.
George Roop vs Leonard Garcia
Leonard Garcia and late replacement George Roop put on a show for the fans that earned them the “Fight of the Night” bonus. The first round had Garcia spending most of the time on his back, but a guillotine choke attempt and late flurry of punches may have stole the round for him. The second round was a slug fest. Most people feel Roop won the round with an early take down and a late sweep. The third round was much like the second, a stand up war with Roop earning a take down but unable to do anything on the mat. Late in the 3rd, Roop threw a kick that hit Garcia square in the cup. Referee Kevin Mullhall stopped the bout and took away a point from Roop for the foul. The action was close to the final bell, leaving the judges a tough task of declaring a winner… they couldn’t. One judge had it 29-27 for Roop, another had it 29-27 for Garcia, and the last had the fight a 28-28 draw. So a split draw was the final decision. Both fighters are up for a rematch and i don’t think the fans will mind.
George Roop – Leonard Garcia rematch.
Leonard Garcia – George Roop rematch.
Fredson Paixao vs Courtney Buck
This fight went exactly how i pictured it would. Buck landed a big shot early, knocking Paixao to the ground but then Buck made the mistake of following it up on the ground. Paixao swept Buck to gain top position and Buck tried to get back to his feet. In the scramble, Paixao got on Buck’s back and sunk in a rear naked choke until he went limp.
Fredson Paixao – Cole Province rematch, Chan Sung Jung, or Erik Koch would entertaining match-ups.
Courtney Buck – Back to the local circuit.
Ricardo Lamas vs Bendy Casimir
Bendy Casimir’s WEC debut did not go as planned. Everyone knew Casimir wanted to get this fight to the ground and look for the submission. After a short stint on the feet, Casimir looked for his opening to get the fight to the mat. Ricardo Lamas defended the first two take down attempts with ease. Then on the third attempt, Casimir was greeted with a well-timed knee to the face from Lamas knocking him unconscious. Lamas is now 3-1 in the WEC and has solidified himself as one of the top prospects in the lightweight division.
Ricardo Lamas – Rob McCullough or Jamie Varner would be entertaining fights for Ricardo Lamas.
Bendy Casimir – Casimir will need a win in his next fight to keep his job in the WEC. Possible match-ups may be Alex Karalexis, Mike Budnik, or Zach Micklewright.