Newsworthy for a title change and the end of a notable career, WEC 47 was....well...an MMA event on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
Quite a lead, you might say. Well, WEC's effort wasn't bad by any stretch but was their usual fare: a few great finishes, a title change, and a snoozer.
While the group continues to put together well-rounded events, they still can't build any notable stars outside of Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo as their fringe guys are getting beat up.
Let's jump right into it.
Dominick Cruz def. Brian Bowles by 2nd round TKO to win the WEC Bantamweight Championship
You never want a title change to take place on the stool while at a commercial break. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened here as Bowles' broken right hand was hurting enough for him to call it quits.
Not exactly what you're looking for from your Bantamweight Champion defending for the first time.
Here are the major problems with the Cruz win:
—Since Miguel Torres defeated Takeya Mizugaki in April 2009, the Bantamweight title has been competed for and changed hands twice: to Bowles and then to Cruz. Consistency is important for championships and you get the sense in the 135-pound division that anyone could be the champ now. There's the extreme of B.J. Penn, but I don't necessarily think that parity is good for divisions either.
—He won during the commercial. There was no flashy finish, not even a moment where Cruz got his hand raised after 25 minutes of war. Quite simply, the win felt flat. It's not Cruz's fault, but he didn't get any marketing momentum with the victory. He won a freakin' championship, but did it feel like it?
—Bowles complaining about a broken hand was legit, but the first thing I thought: "Didn't Urijah Faber compete with two broken hands?" I still don't know that much about Bowles, but I didn't get that sense that he would do anything for the belt.
You gotta feel that with these guys and he didn't show any type of desperation when they showed the between-the-round replay. If you're a champion, don't you try to gut through it?
So Cruz is your new champion and will get Damacio Page (if he can beat Antonio Banuelos at the 4/24 PPV) or Scott Jorgensen (more on him in a bit). I have no idea what happens to Bowles now, but I assume he goes back in the 135-pound mix as I didn't get the sense a rematch was too clamored about.
Joe Benavidez def. Miguel Torres by 2nd round submission (2:57)
What the hell happened to Torres? A FIGHT! Magazine cover boy just a few years ago, the WEC Bantamweight Champion, the respect of the fighting community and the owner of a 36-1 record has now lost two straight, this one finishing with him as a completely bloody mess that puts him further away from a rematch for the title he lost in August.
Well, a nasty, nasty cut cut is what happened to Torres, thanks to a Benavidez elbow while on the ground. Torres got rung up good by Benavidez, who also is in line for a title shot after a convincing victory.
But seriously, what is going on with Torres? Was he as good as we thought or is this just a bad stretch for him? He made news as he had switched camps before this fight, but something drastic needs to change.
It's hard to believe, but Torres is now in a must-win position. Unreal.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't shower praise on Benavidez, who runs his record to 12-1 and looked great in doing so. While he gave up inches to Torres, he came in with a perfect game plan and comes out with a big win. Is he a money-making star? Not really, but he's in line for a title shot and very well could wear the gold by the time 2010 comes to a close.
He won $10,000 for Submission of the Night.
Javier Vazquez def. Jens Pulver by 1st round submission (1:18)
If the WEC has any heart, they will not let Pulver fight again. To go 1-7 in your last eight fights doesn't cut it anymore as he hasn't won since beating Cub Swanson in December 2007.
Even with the victory, Vasquez barely got any credit for the win as the focus was squarely on Pulver and his latest tear-filled kinda/sorta farewell speech. It's too bad for Vazquez as he didn't really get any rub from defeating Pulver yet if Pulver beat him, the "He's back!" cheers would rain down from everywhere.
It was sad seeing Pulver writhing on the mat after having his left arm stretched out. It was sad hearing his post-fight speech (his mom was there!). It was sad knowing that this was the end, but it's definitely just that: the end. Any more fights for Pulver in the WEC would be criminal. He needs to be the full-time WEC color commentator....period.
(By the way, I loved Vazquez's post-fight interview. Very classy...I like that guy a lot.)
LC Davis def. Deividas Taurosevicius by majority decision
God, this fight was bad. This was just a clash of styles that didn't work in any possible way and was painful to watch. The highlight might have been Taurosevicius landing a low blow to Davis and the referee not catching it. Seriously, that might have been the lone interesting thing. Ugh. Two judges scored it 29-28 while another had it 29-29.
The 16-2 Davis has had five straight fights go to a decision. Doesn't feel like a 16-2 guy to me.
Bart Palaszewski def. Karen Darabedyan via 1st round submission (4:40)
Darabedyan was doing great for most of the round, dropping plenty of big punches from the top and controlling all the action. But Palaszewski worked and worked and worked and didn't like KD get any real punishing blows in. He sunk in an armbar and got KD to tap, his third straight after losing two in a row.
Darabedyan now goes back to that big ol' drawing board after getting a seven-fight win streak snapped.
Jorgensen? Dominant. If there is a guy that is more ready for a title shot, I don't know who it is. George shot in, Jorgensen sunk in a guillotine choke and took away his consciousness in 31 seconds. Great showing by SJ who is ready for the next level now.
Anthony Pettis def. Danny Castillo by 1st round TKO (2:17)
Pettis looked great here, dropping Castillo with a nasty Cro Cop-esque head kick and quickly finishing him off with some unnecessary follow-up punches. He's a good looking prospect and someone that seems to have some personality.
Pettis won $10,000 for Knockout Of The Night.
—Total attendance was 8,345.
—George Roop and Leonard Garcia each took home $10k for Fight Of The Night.
Bleacher Report Senior Analyst Josh Nason has published MMA blog Ropes, Ring and Cage.com since 2007. He is a contributor to FIGHT! Magazine and appears regularly on The Fight Show and Fight Network Radio. Follow him on Twitter.
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