Sunday, March 7, 2010

WEC 47 Review

If there is one word that could define the WEC it would be unpredictable. The WEC has more upsets than any other promotion I have seen. WEC 47 was no exception.

Whether or not this helps or hurts the promotion can be argued until the end of time but it certainly makes their cards more exciting! Let's break down the fights:

Main Event:

Brian Bowles vs Dominick Cruz

Cruz came out determined and prepared. He was light on his feet (even for a bantamweight) and threw punches with authority. Bowles is one tough customer but he simply had no answer for the combination of speed and power Cruz brought to the table.

Bowles simply relied too much on the belief that one punch would end the fight. Unfortunately for him it did, but instead of KO'ing Cruz he TKO'd himself. Bowles landed a right early in the second round that broke his hand.

Bowles finished the round but was obviously not himself. He barely threw his right and even went for a take down which was obviously not in his game plan. At the end of the round the doctor confirmed the break and the fight was stopped.

Even though Cruz won on a technicality he was the better fighter even before Bowles suffered the injury. It wasn't the fight anyone had hoped for but the result was deserved. Congratulations to Cruz for winning the title and hopefully Bowles gets healed up soon.

Main Card:

Miguel Torres vs Joseph Benavidez

There isn't much you can say except for "wow." This was supposed to be Torres' comeback fight, the one that put him right back in line for a title shot. Unfortunately there are no easy fights in the WEC.

Torres sat back way too much letting Benavidez bring the fight to him. I can understand his trepidation after the Bowles loss but this was too extreme in the other direction. Benavidez looked stronger, faster, more aggressive, and was in control of the entire fight.

Torres survived the first round but certainly lost it. In the second Benavidez took it to Torres again taking him down and landing some brutal elbows that cut Torres wide open and obviously had him shaken. This confusion lead to Torres making a terrible mistake and leaving his head out for Benavidez to lock on a guillotine choke and end the fight in the second round.

This is a huge win for Benavidez over a former champion and a former top 10 pound for pound fighter. However, where this leaves him in the title picture is a good question considering he has lost to Cruz less than a year ago.

This must be bitterly disappointing for Torres who has now lost two fights in a row and sets him way back in the title hunt. Fortunately he is too important to the promotion for them to cut him. However, I think it would be in his best interest to get back in the cage as soon as possible against a lesser opponent to get his confidence back.

Jens Pulver vs Javier Vazquez

I honestly gave Pulver's wrestling too much credit. Vazquez took him down with ease and submitted him much easier than I expected in the first round via arm bar. Vazquez got the win he needed and it's time for Pulver to hang the gloves up because no one wants to see him beat up tomato cans on the local circuit for chump change.

Deividas Taurosevičius vs LC Davis

This fight went exactly as I thought it would. Davis won the clinch game as both fighters spent the majority of the fight engaged against the cage wall. Neither fighter saw a distinct advantage on the feet. And each fighter had one take down.

Choruses of boos rained down from the crowd and for once I agreed. At least on the ground there are opportunities for TKOs and submissions. But if neither fighter is striking or looking for a take down, the clinch game is like World War I in that is purely a battle of attrition.

Davis won a majority decision that could not have inspired the WEC brass. He might be on a three fight win streak but with none of his performances being exciting I'm not sure he helped his cause too much. This is a small setback for Taurosevičius who should see more action soon.

Bart Palaszewski vs Karen Darabedyan

This fight, though not an upset, was very surprising. Darabedyan had a distinct advantage getting the fight to the ground quickly and landing some good ground and pound. Unfortunately his black belt in Judo didn't help him at all as he made a huge mistake leaving an arm out for Palaszewski.

Palaszewski capitalized quickly getting the win via arm bar in the first round. Palaszewski has now won two fights in a row and is slowly climbing back up the ladder at 155 lbs. This was a setback for Darabedyan but a small one in his very young career.

Preliminary Card:

Scott Jorgensen vs Chad George

You have to love a fighter like Jorgensen who comes out with his hair on fire. George made a huge mistake going in for an ill advised shot without setting it up. Jorgensen capitalized with a standing guillotine that not only ended the fight in the first round but knocked George out cold.

Jorgensen has won three fights in a row in impressive fashion and is making a charge up the bantamweight division. George is still very young in his career and should bounce back soon.

Danny Castillo vs Anthony Pettis

Pettis came out and took care of business efficiently and quickly with a brutal head kick to win by KO in the first round. Castillo has now lost convincingly twice in a row and I'm not sure how much longer he'll be around. This was a good bounce back fight for Pettis who lost his last match by a tough split decision.

Chad Mendes vs Erik Koch

Mendes won by a lopsided unanimous decision. Mendes made an impressive WEC debut. Koch will bounce back quickly at this early stage in his career.

Leonard Garcia vs George Roop

Even though this fight wasn't aired this had to be the strangest fight of the night. Roop was penalized for repeated groin shots. But the results still came out 29-27 Garcia, 29-27 Roop, and 28-28 ending this fight in a split draw.

I can't remember ever hearing of a split draw. Obviously this turned into a much tougher fight for Garcia than most people expected (myself included). However, I don't think a rematch is in order after the foul on Roop. I think both fighters just need to move on and look for a comeback win against somebody else.

Fredson Paixao vs Courtney Buck

Paixao won quickly and decisively by rear naked choke in the first round. This was a good first win in the WEC for Paixao. Buck has now lost two in a row and could be looking for work elsewhere.

Ricardo Lamas vs Bendy Casimir

Lamas came out banging, ending the fight quickly by KO in the first round. This was a nice second win in a row for Lamas who will see a step up in competition. However, it was a very bad first fight for Casimir. It will be interesting to see if he gets another shot.

Fight of the night went to Garcia vs Roop. KO of the night went to Pettis. And Submission of the night went to Benavidez.

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