Joseph Benavidez will not only get a crack at avenging the only loss of his career, but he’ll also have the opportunity to take home the WEC bantamweight title as he takes on champion Dominick Cruz in the main event of the upcoming show on August 18.
The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Tuesday evening, and was first reported by the Carmichael Dave show on Tuesday as well.
After winning the bantamweight title in March, Dominick Cruz (15-1) was sidelined with a hand injury that could have potentially required surgery, putting him out for an additional six months. The champion declined and pushed forward with some pain, but an extreme desire to go back in there and defend his belt.
He’ll get that chance in August.
Facing Cruz will be an old foe in Joseph Benavidez (12-1) who faced the now champion two fights ago, losing the only bout in his pro career by unanimous decision. Since that time Benavidez has TKO’d Rani Yahya, and just recently submitted former champion Miguel Torres to get back to the top of the division.
After beating Torres in March, Benavidez told MMAWeekly that he hoped a title shot loomed in his future.
“I definitely think I’m the number one contender. I went out there and did something that no one’s ever done to Miguel Torres, and I’d be disappointed if I got anything else,” Benavidez said.
He didn’t get anything else because now Benavidez is fighting for the title.
Cruz vs. Benavidez is expected to headline the upcoming card on August 18, along with a fight first reported on MMAWeekly on Tuesday with Urijah Faber making his debut at 135lbs against Takeya Mizugaki. More fights are expected to be announced for the August 18 card in the coming weeks.