Greetings all, tonight, WEC 50 is live from the The Pearl at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. There’s a great WEC World Bantamweight Title fight on tap between the champion, Dominick Cruz (the recently crowned title holder), and Joseph Benavidez. Also, the co-main event of the evening features lightweights Anthony Pettis and Shane Roller meeting with the potential for number one contendership on the line.
Inside Fights will have full round-by-round recaps of all the action tonight, with our coverage beginning. Our coverage, will begin with the broadcast on Versus at 9 pm ET.
Follow along for the latest results “after the jump”
Bart Palaszewski vs. Zack Micklewright
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
Inside low kick from Bart as Zack is fighting southpaw. 3 more leg kicks from Bart. Micklewright catches with a big right hook and pins Palaszewski against the cage. Ref breaks them apart after Bart reverses. Uppercut and some dirty boxing from Bart. Superman grazes from Zack. Short punch from Bart countered by Zack. Flying knee from Zack leads to an accidental groin shot, but Bart shakes the ref off. He’s hardcore. Micklewright misses a low kick and gets a shot to his cup on the counter. That’s 1-1 now, eh? Big right from Bart. Another big right from Bart and Micklewright finally wobbles. The kid has a jaw, no question. Nice flurry from the fighters to end the round.
Bart smells blood after the round begins, landing a big left hook. Kick to the body from Bart opens up a BIG right hand from Bart Palaszewski that knocks Micklewright down. Steve Mazzagatti steps in to stop Zack from taking any damage as he is out.
Winner: Bart Palaszewski by knockout (R2, 0:31)
Scott Jorgensen vs. Brad Pickett
Referee: Kim Winslow
Bantamweight fight between two great fighters. Tonight’s title shot could have gone to Jorgensen, so I have to hope he can pull his off. Pickett hits with a straight right and Jorgensen stumbles then gets back up. Scott with a kick that is caught and Pickett gets a takedown. Pickett tries for some ground and pound, but Jorgensen is back on his feet. Jorgensen gets the single leg takedown, but Pickett spins around and gets back to his feet. Right from Pickett, followed by a left. Jorgensen punches the mouth guard out to the floor, Pickett picks it up and gets rocked. Jorgensen shoots for the takedown and Pickett gets a guillotine. Several short elbows on the mat and Scott stands him up. Several short punches lead to a flying knee from Pickett. This round is fast, insanely fast. Pickett goes for a takedown, but it’s stuffed by Scott who counters with a knee. The round ends with two glancing punches.
Jorgensen eats a few punches. Pickett with a pair of jabs. Pickett pressing the action but with each miss, Scott jabs and counters with elbows. Big right over the top from Scott, knocking his mouthpiece out again. Straight from Pickett on the combinations. The referee stops him to put the mouth guard in. Pickett stuffs a takedown and on the clinch, catches a knee to the cup. The pace quickens, with Pickett missing wild and Scott picking him apart. Pickett goes for the takedown, but Jorgensen reverses and ends up in the full guard of Pickett. Short right elbows and punches from Scott. Scott passes guard by holding both legs up and tossing to the side. Scott tries to get the guillotine, but Pickett slips back out and shoots for a takedown. That attempt is stuffed by Scott as the round draws to a close.
Pickett’s left eye is swollen and black and blue. Both men come out swinging strongly. Early strong contact from Pickett that land clean. Jorgensen gets the takedown and starts to rain down short elbows. Pickett working in the guard for submissions, using triangle attempts to get back on his feet. Scott with another single leg takedown into full guard. Short right elbows from Scott to the side of Brad’s head. Scott has Pickett bundled up and is hitting him with big knees to the back. Pickett gives up his back and rolls through two times and eventually reverses into Scott’s full guard. Elbow to the face of Scott Jorgensen from Brad Pickett to end the fight.
Winner: Scott Jorgensen by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Cageside interviews with Manny Gamburyan and Donald Cerrone are up next. Manny sounds like he rehearsed a bit as he talks about his pending clash with Jose Aldo. Cerrone will be taking on Jamie Varner on the same card (Sept. 30th on Versus) but they’re really doing a good job of getting these two over. I almost forgot the split decision contest between Cerrone and Varner. Should be a great rematch, as long as there isn’t a stupid mistake again.
Chad Mendes vs. Cub Swanson
Referee: Josh Rosenthal
Big left lands from Mendes and it looks like it rocked Cub a bit. Mendes steps around a standing Swanson and drags Cub to the mat, taking side control. Nothing going on, several short shoulder thrusts to Mendes’ head. Big hammerfist from Mendes, but Cub can’t get loose. Referee stands them up, Cub eats a kick and a right hand. Spin kick misses from Cub. Mendes catches the kick and earns a takedown, but Swanson is let up early. Cub misses with a big right over the top and Mendes counters with one of his own. Cub goes for a flying knee, but it’s caught by Mendes, who earns the takedown as the round ends.
Double leg takedown from Mendes and he’s into Cub’s open guard. Cub back to his feet. Cub misses a two punch combo. Cub beginning to unleash, but not much power. Mendes laughs it off. He’s a very, very thick dude for 135 lbs. He looks like he weights 170, easily. Cub with a counter right hand, but Mendes steps under another hook and takes Cub to the mat. Cub tries to use the underhook to get back to his feet, but Mendes starts to take his back. Cub rolls back to his back. Cub with some short heel strikes to the butt and hips on Mendes. Mendes walks Cub toward the cage wall and tries to pin Swanson’s arm behind his back. Swanson gets back to his feet with a guillotine. He connects with two knees to Mendes’ head, who backs away and barely misses taking a big kick to the face as the round ends.
Cub slips on the mat and he ends up with Mendes on top of him. Cub gets back to his feet. He begins pursuit and starts to land some punches; Mendes counters with a big double leg takedown. Cub working for an omoplata, but Mendes doesn’t let him get his hips free. Mendes uses the head and arm triangle to half guard. Back into Cub’s guard and he is just wearing on Cub, he goes for a big flying knee and goes for a big right. Chad lets him back to his feet. Cub lands a big uppercut. Mendes gets another takedown with 20 seconds to go. Cub works for the omoplata again, but Swanson still cannot shake his hips free. The fight ends with Mendes in Swanson’s guard. Basically, that was the story of the entire fight as it was, so it was fitting.
Winner: Chad Mendes by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Anthony Pettis vs. Shane Roller
Referee: Herb Dean
After two big missed punches, Roller clinches for a takedown, but Pettis reverses. Roller takes another chance for a takedown. Knees to the thighs against the cage by Roller. Straight right from Pettis connects. Jumping kick misses from Pettis, but Roller connects with a big left right combo. Pettis presses in and gets Roller against the cage. Knee to the body from Shane, followed by a guillotine attempt that Pettis fights out of. Pettis hits Roller with a high kick to the back of his neck. Roller recovers with a takedown attempt and presses Pettis against the cage wall. Pettis hits the mat and goes for an insane little capoeira style head kick. Too bad it is deflected, eh?
Roller tries for a takedown but is stuffed. Roller goes for a takedown again, but Pettis moves under his right arm and drags Shane to the mat. Punches to the ribs and short elbows and fists to the head from Pettis. Anthony postures up and lands a few short hooks. Roller works his rubber guard and goes for a triangle causing Pettis to let Roller up to his feet. Roller gets a good takedown and ends up in full mount. Anthony Pettis plants his feet on the cage wall and backward somersaults into side control. Back to their feet, Roller just BARELY ducks under a spinning heel kick as the round ends.
Shane Roller gets a big double leg into a scoop slam in the center of the cage. Pettis rolls through and tries to get free, but Roller is biding his time. Pettis goes for a triangle choke, but Roller gets free. Back fist from the bottom by Pettis. Anthony gets back to his feet. Both fighters go for a leg kick at the same time and land. They are both totally spent. Roller gets taken to the mat by Pettis, but both are back up on their feet. Leg kick from Pettis. Pettis steps into a guillotine by Shane Roller, but wisely rolls away and back somersaults out of it. Roller goes to push the legs away and pass into side control on Pettis, but Anthony catches Shane in a deep triangle choke. Shane has no choice by to tap out.
Winner: Anthony Pettis by submission (R3, 4:51)
The AMP Energy Drink announcement is up next: where will the December event be? Will it be Nashville, Milwaukee or Phoenix? They go to Upper Deck Sports Bar on a live feed like they already KNEW?!?!?!? Crazy, eh? Oh, Jamie Varner is there in the crowd too. Yeah, shenanigans. That wasn’t a surprise, but good to see Dana White.
Craig Hummer interviews WEC Lightweight Champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson about Anthony’s win and subsequent title shot? Ben’s awesome, I love that kid.
Main Bouts (On Versus):
WEC World Bantamweight Title Match
Dominick Cruz (c) vs. Joseph Benavidez
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
Sh!t, these effers are fast. Both men have been moving like mad. Benavidez slips and Cruz presses Dominick presses him against the cage wall. Back on their feets in the center of the Ocatgon, Cruz connects with a right uppercut. Looks of explosive movement from both fighters. After another minute of casual boxing, albeit incredibly fast boxing, Cruz shoots for the takedown and ends up in Benavidez’ guard. Several short punches and elbows from Cruz as the round ends.
Cruz swarms into strike and misses with punches. Leg kick is caught and Benavidez gets a partial takedown. Benavidez goes for two punches that miss, as Cruz backs away, Benavidez comes flying with a kick that catches gloves. Cruz swings hard for the fences. Big punches from Benavidez, but Cruz shrugs it off. Benavidez slips and tries to press for a single leg. Cruz lands several shots to the face as Joe’s on all fours. Right cross puts Joe on one knee. Kick to the sternum from Benavidez. Flying knee from Cruz barely misses. Both men exchanging and Dominick Cruz shoots for a takedown, but he ends up in a guillotine. The champ pops free as the round ends.
Working multiple levels, Dominick jabs, hits a straight then goes for a high kick. Again, I have to say that these dudes are insanely fast. Low kicks from Joseph to slow Cruz. Takedown stuffed by Benavidez. High kick from Benavidez is out of range and catches only gloves. Right from Cruz, followed by a short knee to the ribs. Clinch between each fighter, Benavidez gets the single. Cruz defends it and gets back to his feets. Cruz using the jab again to keep Joe out of range. Leg kick from Joe. High kick from Cruz misses, but is countered by a low kick from Joe. Body kick from Cruz. Knee to the head missed by Benavidez. Body kicks from Benavidez. Takedown from Dominick Cruz with 10 seconds to go. That has to take a very close round from Joe.
Cruz shoots in immediately and earns an early takedown on Benavidez. Cruz walks Joseph to the cage and is trying to get a submission. Cruz works for mount two times and just barely loses it. Cruz works to take the back of Benavidez and loses position as he tries for an armbar. Benavidez and Cruz back onto their feet and Cruz presses Joseph against the cage. Knee to the face on Cruz and he’s split open on the bridge of his nose. Joseph tries for a throw, but Cruz gets back to his feet. Cruz takes Benavidez back to the mat. Full mount from Cruz, but Benavidez stands back up and shoots for the single.
Cruz shoots for the double leg that is stuffed, so he counters with a high kick. Two punches from Cruz. Leg kick from Benavidez. Both fighters land punches simultaneously as Benavidez heads for a takedown. Cruz goes clear over the top of Joseph with a flying knee. Body kick by Cruz. Straight kick from Joseph Benavidez. Cruz with a blocked high kick. Cruz slugs away and checks a low kick. Spinning back fist from Joseph. Both fighters just miss on big combos, with Dominick Cruz swaying out of the way. Clinch from Benavidez is exited by a big right hand on the way out. Flying knee attempted by Cruz as Benavidez tries a leg kick. Big flurry by both fighters leads to a takedown from Cruz. Ground and pound at a furious pace (not a medium pace, as that’s a different matter all together) as the final stanza comes to a close.
Winner: Dominick Cruz by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
Great night of fights from the WEC. Another great card, Chad Mendes impressed with his wrestling in a win over Cub Swanson, Shane Roller get “steam rolled” by Anthony Pettis (to hopefully lock up a WEC Lightweight title shot), but the main event and the Scott Jorgensen-Brad Pickett contests were unreal.
Good times, all. Have an awesome night.
Tags: Anthony Pettis, Joseph Benavidez, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, Shane Roller, WEC