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WEC 47 recap: Cruz is new champion at 135, Benavidez stuns Torres, and Vazquez submits Pulver

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Saturday night’s WEC 47 championship bout between Brian Bowles and Dominick Cruz was a match up of power versus speed coming in, but not many people expected Dominick Cruz to be as fast and elusive as he proved to be.

Using his speed and superior footwork, Cruz outboxed Bowles, getting in and out landing stiff jabs and punishing the champ with leg kicks. A late takedown by Cruz further cemented Round 1 in his favor.

Bowles seemed content to counter with his right hand, which has the capability to end a fight with one punch. The problem was, the hand was injured after Bowles threw his first punch.

The second round was more of the same, but even more impressive as the speedy Cruz put together multiple punch and kick combos to stifle any type of attack that Bowles may have been able to mount, punctuated by another takedown at the end of Round 2.

There would be no Round 3. The doctor came in during the break to look at Bowles, and the fight was called due to the injured hand. It was a disappointing end to the main event, but nothing should be taken away from Cruz’s performance, as he showed that he is a dominating force at 135 after dropping from 145, with the only loss on his resume coming from Urijah Faber.

The win likely sets up a rematch between the new WEC bantamweight champion Cruz and Joseph Benavidez. Cruz, now 15-1 in MMA and 4-1 in the WEC, defeated Benavidez by unanimous decision at WEC 42 back in August of 2009.

Benavidez stuns Torres

Not many people gave Joseph Benavidez much of a chance to win coming in against Miguel Torres. Somebody forgot to tell that to Benavidez.

A tentative Torres found himself on his back early in Round 1, and even after he got back to his feet, Benavidez used a body lock to put him back on the mat, grinding out the rest of the round in top control and winning Round 1.

Benavidez wasted little time in the second round, setting up a quick takedown by faking a punch, then peppering Torres with elbows and punches, opening up a gash on the head of Torres.

As blood poured out of Torres’s head, Benavidez grabbed the neck, jumped guard, and locked up the guillotine choke, forcing Torres to tap at 2:57 of Round 2.

It was a stunning win for Benavidez, and one that surely will give him a title shot as he moves to 12-1 in MMA and 4-1 in the WEC.

Javier Vazquez spoils the return of “Lil Evil”

The return of Jens Pulver tonight may have marked his last time in the WEC cage. The crowd was clearly behind the MMA legend with chants of “Pulver, Pulver,” and Jens delivered early. Pulver came into this one with a big advantage in the stand up game, but worked an early guillotine attempt on the very dangerous ground fighter, but soon found himself in deep waters defending on his back with Vazquez in full mount.

Pulver escaped being mounted by Vazquez, but then made a mistake while standing, getting tripped as he backed away to let Vazquez back to his feet. Pulver ended up on his back, then in the crucifix position taking big, unanswered shots from Vazquez.

Pulver would escape, but would end up with Vazquez on his back looking for the rear naked, then to full mount as Vazquez continued to transition looking for a finish.

Vazquez grabbed an arm, and quickly forced the tap with “Lil Evil’s” arm fully extended, possible ending an era in the process of earning the victory by submission.

Pulver was understandably emotional after the loss, and hinted that his career may be over following this fight.

“I’ll never say that [it's over],” Pulver said. “I love you all way, way, way to much to put you guys through this. You are the only reason I’ve done this from day one.”

L.C. Davis outpoints Taurosevicius in a three round clinch fest

Deividas Taurosevicius and L.C. Davis engaged in a 3 round clinch contest, battling for most of the fight against the cage, reversing positions and effectively neutralizing each other.

There were no significant advantages for either fighter on the feet, or in the clinch, with the takedowns pretty much even, meaning the judges would have a difficult task determining the winner in this one.

Once the cards came in, one judge called it a draw, and the other two gave the nod to L.C. Davis. With the win, Davis improves to 16-2 overall, and 3-0 in the WEC.

Palaszewski survives G&P attack, takes an arm home with him

Bart Palaszewski found himself on his back taking vicious ground and pound elbows and punches from Darabedyan for most of the first round. Darabedyan fought off several submission attempts as he delivered some brutal punishment to the head of Palaszewski, but just when it seemed like the fight was close to being stopped, Palaszewski secured an arm, and locked up a fight ending armbar just before the bell in Round 1.

For complete results and a detailed play-by-play of each of the  WEC 47 fights, check out our WEC 47 results and play-by-play article.

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