Monday, March 8, 2010

WEC Recap

At WEC 47, the fighters showed that what appears on paper doesn't always translate to the cage. Oddsmakers would have had us believe that Brian Bowles and Miguel Torres were on the road to a rematch, but Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez not only pulled upsets, but did so convincingly. This is a credit to Sean Shelby's matchmaking as his WEC 42 matchup of Cruz and Benavidez could now be a future title bout as both fighters have now themselves as No. 1 and No. 2 in the division. As such, the former top-of-the-list rematch in the bantamweight division of Bowles vs. Torres looks to be a non-title affair, and while still a fight that would put the victor back in the title mix, the loser has even more to lose with both fighters getting finished in fights they were favored to win. Shelby will have his hands full as the volatile WEC title landscape continues to shift unpredictably. Lets take a look at what these fights mean for the future.

One thing to take from Cruz and Benavidez is that your record does not show how good you are. Cruz's decision wins made some doubt his ability to finish added to Bowles big name KO over Torres equaled most people predicting an easy win for Bowles. Pat Militech on MMA Live however had analyzed his fights and the way he moved and predicted an upset that had Franklin Mcneil scoffing. Needless to say I can't wait until the next episode of MMA Live.

The flip side of the Cruz/Bowles equation had Benavidez losing a close decision to Cruz, which at the time most said that if he couldn't beat Cruz, what hope would he have against Torres? Again, not only a big win but a dominant finish for Benavidez. Torres seemed to lack his usual aggressive striking game and while he started to use his length and jab, it was too little too late.

What we saw is that big name wins and win/loss on a record had masked the fact from most people that Cruz and Benavidez are the #1 and #2 fighters in the WEC's bantamweight division.

We now likely have several rematches on the horizon. Cruz/Benavidez is a fight that before this event, no one cared about a rematch but now after their dominant marque wins is going to be the best WEC rematch outside of Faber/Brown and Cerrone/Henderson. Also, Torres and Bowles will likely get their rematch but the conotations will be much different. Instead of fighting for the title as most assumed would be the case, they are fighting for relevancy. Torres is 0-2 in his last two and Bowles got dominated by Cruz. The loser of the fight will now find themselves much further down the ladder than if the rematch was contested for a title. The third rematch from this card is a likely rematch between George Roop and Leonard Garcia who fought their Fight of the Night bout on the undercard. Garcia was supposed to destroy Roop but had it not been for a bad point deduction by the ref, Roop would have won the split decision instead of the bout ending in a dissapointing draw.

All in all a solid WEC card and good night of fights.

Other notable events on the card were;
-Scott Jorgensons violent guillotine choke win
-Javier Mendez finally getting a much deserved win
-The fact that I may not be able to emotionally handle seeing Jens Pulver fight again
-Taurosevicius vs Davis to me highlights the need for more Draws. Neither fighter in my opinion deserves to be coming off of a win or a loss in their next fight.

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