by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
To many onlookers, Sunday’s WEC 42 was a mere formality for
Joseph Benavidez before he got his shot at Miguel Torres’ WEC bantamweight
championship. Things couldn’t have turned out to be any more of a polar opposite
than they did.
Not only did Torres drop his belt to Brian Bowles, but also,
Benavidez couldn’t quite get past Dominick Cruz to line himself up for a title
It wasn’t so surprising that Cruz and Benavidez had to go
the distance to declare a winner, but Cruz’s tact was. Benavidez is known for a
strong wrestling base and counts Urijah Faber, another strong wrestler, as one
of his main training partners. But it was Cruz that not only defended nearly
all of Benavidez’s takedown attempts, but actually scored takedowns himself
several times during the bout. He was also able to effectively use his reach
advantage to great effect, stunning Benavidez with punches on multiple occasions.
In the end, Cruz surprised everyone but himself when he
walked out of the cage with a unanimous decision victory and a likely title
“I’ve been coming into these fights as an underdog,” he told
MMAWeekly.com after the fight. “Based on being an underdog or not is based
on the hype of other people. Other people don’t do what I do. Only I do what I
Cruz doesn’t mince words when he talks about his standing as
“I’m one of the best in my weight class and it’s gonna stay
Does he expect that his performance was dominant enough to
earn a shot at the new champ, Brian Bowles? “Absolutely,” he replied.
raring to go. He wants the shot, “A-S-A-P.”