WEC 47: Pulver, Torres Fall Short of Redemption, Cruz Gains Bantamweight Gold

The WEC rolled into Columbus, Ohio’s Nationwide Arena Sat. night with WEC 47, featuring a bantamweight championship fight between title holder Brian Bowles and top contender Dominick Cruz. However, Bowles did not leave the octagon last evening with the belt he earned in 2009.

Dominick Cruz entered the fight with an interesting game plan that featured strange, but effective foot movement that seemed to baffle Bowles every second of the fight. The first round saw Cruz constantly stay active, while landing some great combinations against the powerful striker, who could not get his hands on the challenger. The second round was more of the same, and Bowles was falling behind on the scorecard, as Cruz continued with his confusing movement, solid combinations, and takedown ability.

However, just as the explosive crowd in Ohio was ready for a third round, Bowles decided he was unable to continue due to a broken hand. Cruz tried on his new, shiny 135-pound belt, while Bowles claimed in the post-fight interview that he sustained the injury with the first punch he threw in the fight – one of the few that he landed.

In the evening’s co-main event, Miguel Torres was in search of redemption after losing his bantamweight title to Brian Bowles at WEC 42 last year. However, a very game Joseph Benavidez decided it was not to be.

Benavidez utilized his phenomenal speed and wrestling ability to explode into combinations and takedowns. The member of Team Alpha Male dictated the fight early, taking the first round with a nice takedown followed up with some vicious ground and pound.

The second round was even better for Benavidez, as he landed a takedown and issued some severe ground and pound to the former champion. The sharp elbows led to a bad cut to the forehead of Miguel Torres, and Benavidez could smell it, as he locked on a tight guillotine choke that caused a tap out of the East Chicago native.

Yet Torres was not the only mixed martial arts legend to submit to his opponent. Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver entered WEC 47 looking to end a dismal four-fight losing streak. However, Javier Vazquez’s stellar jiu-jitsu prowess was far too much for Pulver to handle on the ground. A second round submission loss led to tears from Pulver, a blatant hint at retirement, and a heart-felt moment for everyone watching a legend of the sport exit the octagon for what could have been his last time.

The low point of the night came when Deividas Taurosevicius and L.C. Davis face off in a three round clinch-war that garnered numerous boos from the Ohio crowd. The spectators still conscious saw Davis win a very close majority decision victory.

Beginning the evening’s main card, Karen Darabedyan and Bart Palaszewski faced off in a lightweight battle. Darabedyan dominated early, and Palaszewski seemed in deep trouble on several separate occasions. However, a slick armbar forced the tap out of Darabedyan in what will go down as one of the best comebacks of 2010.

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