It has long been the mantra of the hardcore MMA fan to boast the elite quality of the WEC as an organization of downright scrappy fighters. Some of the best in the world fight for this lesser known organization.
It can be a hard sell to the casual fan who desires big sexy names and long standing superstars to entertain their amateurish MMA wishes. Even still, one need only watch one WEC fight card to understand, B.J. Penn and Anderson Silva are not necessary to make a successful night of fights.
That theory could not be proved more true than on the WEC's upcoming event, featuring a showdown for the Bantamweight Championship strap between Brian Bowles and Dominick Cruz.
That fight in and of itself is bound to be good clean family fun, but it is not the only one that carries a potential for war.
Essentially the WEC has positioned the top four 135 lb fighters in their organization to fight in the main and co-main event on March 6th. Before Bowles makes his first title defense since becoming champ, the man he took the belt from will prove he wants back in the title mix.
Miguel Torres will enter that cage with the very dangerous and promising Joesph Benavidez for what is sure to be considered a No. 1 contender match up.
All in all, between these two fights alone this card has the potential to outclass a lot of the MMA that has been available to fans as of late, save for the last stellar night of fights put up at UFC 110.
Consider for a moment if you will, four fighters, all very exciting competitors, with a combined record of 69-4. Of course, the record of Torres accounts for 53 percent of those wins, but the point remains, they are all winners. Losing is just not in their game plans.
We are talking about four fighters that are all one win or loss away from their dreams or their nightmares.
Miguel Torres was thought to be an immovable force atop the BW division in the WEC until Brian Bowles decisively put Torres away to take his belt in Aug. '09 by a first round KO.
The other two have been on a tear in the WEC.
Cruz actually stopped the meteoric rise of Benavidez with a unanimous decision win that resulted in the two earning the fight of the night award at WEC 42. The only loss on Cruz's record came at the hands of Benavidez's mentor the one and only "California Kid" Uriah Faber.
Before Cruz and Benavidez squared off, the two were making countless statements regarding their intentions in the division. Both are very promising fighters with a talent that can not be ignored.
So now the WEC has the honor of sorting it all out, and you and I get to tip one back and watch it all go down.
Torres vs. Benavidez should prove a fast paced and gritty fight.
If there is one thing that can be said about Torres, it is that he is game. He brings an old school mentality with him into the cage that shows hes ready for war. He can submit you cold, he can knock your lights out, or—if you feel like spending three rounds in a cage with this cat, be our guest—he will take you to a decision.
Torres can win, and usually does, anywhere the fight takes him.
Benavidez on the other hand, is not necessarily a finisher or KO/submission specialist per say, but he's a grinder. The guy is always in the fight, and has put people away in the past, but since stepping up his game in the WEC, he has only finished one fighter.
Considering Torres has only been stopped once in 39 fights, this one looks to go the distance if Benavidez can pull out a victory.
In the end, Benavidez has all the tools, but can he put them to work against a true top 10 P4P fighter?
Whoever comes out on top will more than likely have the dubious task of dethroning one of the other two competitors mentioned before.
Dominick Cruz has proved so far that if your name isn't Faber, you're not going to beat him. He is another fighter who doesn't necessarily put people away with authority, but who will wear a man down and find his hand raised at the end of a fight.
Cruz made a statement beating Benavidez, who many thought was well on his way to a title shot.
Simply put: Cruz is a lot to handle.
If he can survive the onslaught of a guy like Bowles, he may have a belt around his waist at the end of this one.
Brian Bowles sees it quite differently.
This cat on the other hand is a finisher by definition with eight wins, three KOs, and five submissions. Bowles must have a problem with judges or something because not one of his fights has been left in their hands, and he has never lost to date. He saves us all the trouble of arguing over who actually won fights.
It should be interesting to see a guy who has only seen round three once in his life go up against a fighter who frequently goes the distance. Especially considering there are potentially five rounds on tap for this championship match up.
These are only two matches on a card that really looks promising. And with all the focus surrounding the WEC being spent on their upcoming pay per view debut, this card may be overlooked a little bit. Do not be fooled fight fans, this one is the real deal and should not be missed, call in sick if you have to, don't miss these fights.