by MMAWeekly.com LIVE
World Extreme Cagefighting returns to Las Vegas on Wednesday night for WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez.
Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz makes the first defense of his title against a fighter he’s faced and defeated before, Joseph Benavidez. The champ has been on the shelf since taking the title from Brian Bowles in March.
Benavidez, since losing a decision to Cruz at WEC 42, has earned his title shot by putting together back-to-back victories over Rani Yahya and former WEC champion Miguel Torres, finishing both.
MMAWeekly.com brings you a full round-by-round recount of all the action at WEC 50. The preliminary bouts, and our coverage, is scheduled to begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. ET.
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WEC 50 CRUZ VS. BENAVIDEZ PLAY-BY-PLAY:
DOMINICK CRUZ VS. JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ
R1 – Cruz automatically starts swooping in on Benavidez from crazy angles, but it’s Benavidez that gets off the first couple solid hits. Benavidez slips, but Cruz moves in, pressing him to the cage, and lands several knees to the body and head. Cruz moves in with the low kick, but Benavidez counters well with punches. And again. Benavidez scores with a couple good leg kicks and then moves in tight and scores with the big right hand. Cruz looking a little out of synch now. Cruz shoots for the takedown. Benavidez goes for the guillotine, but Cruz is quickly out, trying to get his ground and pound going from Benavidez’ butterfly guard.
R2 – Benavidez countering well again to start the round. Benavidez appears to be bleeding from his scalp-line. Cruz lands a solid knee to the midsection and follows with a stiff jab. Benavidez again lands a counter punch, then goes on the attack with a jumping right round kick that lands. They trade individual blows for the better part of the latter half of the round, Benavidez landing more frequently, but Cruz a little flashier, landing a flying knee. Cruz goes for a takedown at the end of the round, gets caught briefly in a guillotine, but escapes before the bell.
R3 – Benavidez holds the center of the cage, but no significant damage through the early part of the round. Benavidez unable to land several takedown attempts this round, but is landing a few low kicks. Cruz lands a good kick to the midsection. Benavidez returns fire with a head kick. Neither fighter making a clear statement. Cruz scores a takedown with about 10 seconds left in the round.
R4 – Cruz gets another takedown to start off the round. Cruz is working his ground and pound game. Benavidez is trying hard to find a way out and slips through the back door and gets right up to his feet. Benavidez drops down for the takedown, but Cruz follows him down, defending. Benavidez scrambles to a standing guillotine, but doesn’t have it and they clinch on the fence. Good knee to the head by Benavidez, but misses with a follow-up throw, and they re-clinch. Cruz bleeding heavily from the bridge of his knows. They slip to the mat in a scramble, Cruz working from half guard on top. He drives a couple knees to the ribs. Cruz tries to transition, but Benavidez scrambles out and presses Cruz to the cage.
R5 – Cruz smiles, still bleeding form his nose, as they start the round. Cruz shoots, but Benavidez sprawls. Cruz looks re-invigorated. Dancing in and out, trying to find an opening. Benavidez maintains the center of the cage, waiting to counter. Benavidez shoots, but Cruz sprawls out. Cruz flies over Benavidez with a flying knee. Benavidez catches a low kick and lands a spinning backfist, but Cruz is still doing a good job, diving in and landing one off punches, and getting out. A minute and a half left in the fight and there’s still no clear winner. Cruz shoots, Benavidez sprawls, and lands a hard right as Cruz comes up. They both press with punches as the clock winds down, Cruz sneaking in a takedown. Cruz tries to ground and pound and Benavidez is firing off his back. Tremendous fight. Very difficult to judge.
-Dominick Cruz def. Joseph Benavidez by Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46), R5
ANTHONY PETTIS VS. SHANE ROLLER
R1 – Roller throws one good left hook and then immediately clinches for the takedown, but Pettis avoids it, staying on his feet. Pettis fends off another takedown attempt and then lands a straight right punch and a jumping left round kick. Roller comes back with a left-right punch and rushes into the clinch. He gets Pettis down, but Pettis lands on top, quickly escaping back to his feet, firing off punches. He feints with a flying knee and lands a sharp left-right punch combination, then presses Roller to the cage. They separate and trade blows, Roller hurting Pettis with a punch combination. But Pettis comes right back with a solid kick and follows with punches that hurt Roller. Roller clinches and presses Pettis to the cage. Pettis finishes with a small flurry just before the bell, actually throwing a kick from on his backside on the mat.
R2 – Roller again goes for the takedown, but Pettis continues to defend well, and starts picking at Roller’s thighs with kicks. Roller comes shooting in on Pettis, but it is Pettis that puts Roller on his back, landing in Roller’s guard, grounding and pounding. Roller tries to tie him up, but Pettis keeps picking away at Roller. Pettis gets up and lets Roller up, and Roller takes immediate advantage, rocking Pettis with a flurry of punches and then presses him to the cage, landing some dirty boxing before wrestling Pettis to the mat. Roller immediately goes into mount, but Pettis rolls out to reverse position, landing in side control on Roller. Roller escapes and gets back to his feet and stuffs a spinning kick from Pettis as the round ends.
R3 – Roller scores a huge double-leg slam to open the round, and starts working from full guard. Pettis lands an up-kick on a standing Roller, who then drops down into full guard. Pettis goes for a triangle, but Roller easily escapes, landing in half guard briefly, but Pettis is doing a great job remaining active with his guard. Pettis finds a lull and stands, both fighters looking really tired with two minutes left in the round. Pettis lands a good combination, but Roller comes right back. Pettis scores a takedown though, putting Roller up against the cage on his back. Roller gets up and escapes, but Pettis scores with a couple solid leg kicks. Pettis shoots, but gets locked up in a guillotine. He somehow rolls out of it, and then locks Roller in a triangle choke, causing him to tap out as the clock was winding down.
-Anthony Pettis def. Shane Roller by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:51, R3
CHAD MENDES VS. CUB SWANSON
R1 – Mendes lands the first blow… and the first takedown, landing in side control. Mendes taking his time, controlling position from the side, lands a couple small blows, but is getting warned to improve position. Referee Josh Rosenthal stands them up. Mendes lands a solid right hand, Swanson not having much answer so far. He’s moving well, but not landing much offense thus far. Swanson kicks, but it’s caught by Mendes for the takedown. He lands a couple ground and pound blows, but lets Swanson back up to the feet. Swanson misses with a flying knee with 10 seconds left and gets taken down for his efforts just before the bell sounds.
R2 – Mendes scores another takedown, but lets Swanson up. Swanson lands a couple blows, but gets really wild with his punches and his kicks, trying to make something happen. He lands a couple kicks and a leaping uppercut, slowing Mendes down a bit this round. He lands a good left-right combination, but Mendes quickly shoots a double-leg takedown, landing in Swanson’s guard. Mendes gets his ground and pound going, landing some hard forearms. Swanson gets back to his feet, landing a couple knees, just before the round closes.
R3 – Mendes knocks Swanson to the mat early, going into his guard and driving Swanson to the fence. Swanson walks his back up the cage and they separate. Swanson lands a couple stiff jabs, but Mendes goes back to the double-leg takedown, landing in Swanson’s guard, and starting his ground and pound attack again. Swanson looking for a submission, but Mendes smothers him and then passes to a half mount. Mendes gains full mount briefly, but Swanson quickly puts him back in full guard. They get back to their feet, Swanson attempting a big knee, but Mendes puts him back down again. They’re right back to their feet, Swanson swinging for the knockout. Mendes goes back to the takedown, working from guard, as the final bell sounds.
Chad Mendes def. Cub Swanson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), R3
SCOTT JORGENSEN VS. BRAD PICKETT
R1 – Both fights come out headhunting. Pickett strikes first with a straight right that drops Jorgensen, but the Alpha Male fighter is right back up, pressing the action. Both fighters landing their shots, but Pickett showing better head movement, making Jorgensen miss a little more maybe. Jorgensen scores a quick takedown, but Pickett is right back up, peppering Jorgensen with punches. Jorgensen drops Pickett with a straight left. Pickett quickly comes back with a couple left hands that rock Jorgensen, who then shoots, but gets caught in a guillotine. Jorgensen quickly moves to side control, escaping the choke. Pickett goes to his knees and up and they immediately start trading blows again. Nice flying knee from Pickett, but Jorgensen takes it and keeps coming. Several punches before the end of the round and Jorgensen sneaks in a knee to the chin just before the bell.
R2 – Pickett lands some strong punches to open the round. Jorgensen comes back strong with a combo that includes a nice uppercut. Pickett starts working the body, but Jorgensen keeps headhunting. After trading several more hard blows, they trade takedown attempts before Jorgensen takes a low blow. They start right back up, firing the same hard punches that should have knocked each other out in the first round. Jorgensen gets Pickett to the mat, landing in his guard. Jorgensen getting some good ground and pound going. Jorgensen passes to side and locks on a guillotine as Pickett stands, but the Brit escapes and they end the round throwing down.
R3 – They come out firing straight away, both landing some strong punches. Jorgensen gets Pickett to the mat again and starts in with his ground and pound from full guard. Pickett stays very busy and eventually escapes back to his feet and they start firing. Jorgensen scores another single-leg takedown, ground pounding from full guard. Pickett trying to find a submission, but Jorgensen passes to side control and drives knees into Pickett’s side and lower back. Pickett tries to escape, but Jorgensen takes his back. Pickett reverses in the last 10 seconds, but it looks to be a little too late. Great fight!
Scott Jorgensen def. Brad Pickett by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
BART PALASZEWSKI VS. ZACK MICKLEWRIGHT
R1 – Palaszewski immediately starts with inside kicks to Micklewright’s lead leg, but Micklewright doing a good job sticking with his right hand jab. He rocked Palaszewski early with a solid punch combination before they clinch. Palaszewski connects with a couple good hook punches. Palaszewski countering well as the round goes on. Following a quick break for a low blow from Micklewright, Micklewright fires off another good combination. A break for a low blow from Palaszewski is followed by some good power shots from Palaszewski.
R2 – Palaszewski lands some strong punches, followed by a head kick. Micklewright is rocked. Palaszewski follows with a hard right hand that drops Micklewright to the mat. Fight over!
Bart Palaszewski def. Zack Micklewright by KO (Punch) at 0:31, R2
ANTHONY NJOKUANI VS. MACIEJ JEWTUSZKO
R1 – Jewtuszko comes towards Njokuani with an early kick but Njokuani cracks Jewtuszko with a spectacular right as Jewtuszko was in the air. Jewtuszko crumbles to the ground. Jewtuszko then gets up and answers with a spinning back elbow. He lands it on the jaw of Njokuani. This dazes Njokuani and Jewtuszko then moves in for the kill finishing him off with a flurry of strikes to end the bout in a sensational fashion.
-Maciej Jewtuszko def. Anthony Njokuani by TKO (Strikes) @ 1:36, R1.
JAVIER VAZQUEZ VS. MACKENS SEMERZIER
R1 – Vazquez comes in quickly taking Semerzier down with a huge takedown. Vazquez now punishing Semerzier from the top in full mount. Vazquez now takes Semerzier’s back then transitions back to full mount. Vazquez now all over Semerzier administering strikes at will. Semerzier cannot seem to escape as Vazquez continues to dominate for practically then entire round as it ends.
R2 – Vazquez gets a standing guillotine on Semerzier but Semerzier shakes him off. The fighters separate but Vazquez comes in quickly again jumping on Semerzier’s back and gets the rear naked choke to end it by submission.
-Javier Vazquez def. Mackens Semerzier by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) @ 1:35, R2.
DAVE JANSEN VS. RICARDO LAMAS
R1 – Lamas connecting with an early flip kick fighters circle for the first minute or so with Lamas landing another leg kick. Jansen takes Lamas up against the cage giving Lamas a solid knee to the chest. Lamas gets away from the clinch. Fighters exchange a couple strikes with Jansen getting a single leg of Lamas’ but he can’t do anything with it as it is defended nicely by Lamas. Jansen ends up taking Lamas down again with a minute or so left in the round. Jansen looking to take the round as he keeps control to end the round.
R2 – Lamas lands a huge right early stunning Jansen. Lamas coming out strong looking like a totally different fighter as he dominates Jansen taking him up against the cage. Jansen now answers returning strikes. Jansen then takes Lamas down as Lamas tries to deliver a spinning back kick Jansen comes in and takes Lamas down. The fighters end up on their feet again but Jansen picks up Lamas and just slams Lamas down on his shoulder the time ticks off the clock to end the round.
R3 – Jansen takes Lamas up against the cage then takes Lamas to the ground. Both fighters exchange control one to another. Jansen then takes Lamas’ back getting one hook in then gets the second hook flattening Lamas out. Lamas controls the wrist of Jansen from the bottom to defend. Lamas then out of nowhere lands an elbow on Jansen. Jansen now bleeding profusely Lamas takes control of the fight. Lamas nearly finishes the fight but cannot get the submission in time.
-Ricardo Lamas def. Dave Jansen by Unanimous Decision (29-28),(29-28),(29-28).
FREDSON PAIXAO VS. BRYAN CARAWAY
R1 – Paixao starts out knocking a leg out from under Caraway. Caraway fakes a shot and connects with a left hook starting some redness on Paixao’s face. Paixao gives Caraway a spinning back kick to the knee. Paixao falls to the ground but Caraway does not follow him down, obviously trying to keep the fight standing. Caraway lands a strong right to Paixao’s temple. Paixao now trying harder to close the distance. Paixao feeling the damage from Caraway. Carway lands yet another strike, then sends Paixao back against the cage with another punch. Caraway seems to be landing punches at will. Caraway shoots in with 10 seconds left, takes Paixao down to end the round.
R2 – Paixao tries early to get the fight on the ground but Caraway escapes the clinch. Caraway continues to land punches and Paixao answers with a flurry of leg kicks . Paixao lands a big leg kick and it is starting to obviously effect Caraway. Paixao delivers 3 more leg kicks and finally gets top position on the ground. Caraway pushes Paixao off and the fight ends up standing again. Caraway ‘s stance changing with the repeated leg kicks, Paixao taking a bit of a more pro-active stance now. Caraway takes Paixao down but eats a huge leg kick on the way down, Paixao nearly ties up Caraway in a submission but Caraway escapes to end the round.
R3 – With the fighters looking to have each taken a previous round, they start off slow checking each other again. Feeling out the situation very slowly. Paixao lands a leg kick that goes unanswered. The fighters lock up but break quickly. Fights continue to circle. Paixao connects with a combination then another leg kick. Paixao lands another leg kick followed by another combination. Caraway takes Paixao down but immediately re-thinks it letting Paixao up not wanting to be on the ground with him. Caraway wants to keep the fight standing but can’t do much to dominate in any way, this one will be close, the round ends.
-Fredson Paixao def. Bryan Caraway by split decision (29-28),(28-29),(29-28).
DANNY CASTILLO VS. DUSTIN POIRIER
R1 – Castillo lands the first leg kick followed by another. Castillo then attempts a takedown and gets Poirier up against the fence. As the fighters are in the clinch Castillo takes a leg of Poirier and puts him on the ground. Castillo stands while Poirier lays on the ground. Castillo drops in for a couple huge bombs. Poirier grabs Castillo by the leg and nearly submits him but Castillo gets out of it. Castillo continues to land strikes on Poirier to end the round.
R2 – Poirier strikes first this round attempting to take Castillo down but cannot complete the task. Castillo returns the attempt taking Poirier to the ground. With Castillo on top he lands a few strikes with Poirier landing a few of his own from the bottom. Both fighters tied up now Castillo picks Poirier off the ground and slams him back down on the mat. Castillo goes for an armbar but Poirier reverses the situation now taking Castillo in a triangle. Castillo squirms out to end the round.
R3 – Castillo lands a big strike very quickly. Castillo takes Poirier up against the fence and takes Poirier down. Castillo now on top keeping his face close to the chest of Poirier to avoid strikes from Poirier. Poirier gets Castillo in a triangle now for the 2nd time nearly finishes him but Castillo escapes once again. Castillo stays on top to try and grind out the decision. The round ends.
-Danny Castillo def. Dustin Poirier by Unanimous Decision (30-27),(29-28),(30-27).
WEC 50 CRUZ VS. BENAVIDEZ QUICK RESULTS:
Main Bouts (On Versus):
-Dominick Cruz def. Joseph Benavidez by Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46), R5
-Anthony Pettis def. Shane Roller by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:51, R3
-Chad Mendes def. Cub Swanson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Scott Jorgensen def. Brad Pickett by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Bart Palaszewski def. Zack Micklewright by KO (Punch) at 0:31, R2
Preliminary Bouts (Non-Televised):
-Maciej Jewtuszko def. Anthony Njokuani by TKO (Strikes) at 1:36, R1
-Javier Vazquez def. Mackens Semerzier by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:35, R2
-Ricardo Lamas def. Dave Jansen by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Fredson Paixao def. Bryan Caraway by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3
-Danny Castillo def. Dustin Poirier by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27), R3