October 7, 2010

Just 24 hours after learning that former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles withdrew from the promotion’s Nov. 11 fight card, his replacement has come to light. Joseph Benavidez has agreed to take his place against Wagnney Fabiano at WEC 52 in Las Vegas. independently confirmed Benavidez’s verbal acceptance, first reported by

The bout will be Benavidez’s first since a failed attempt to wrest the title away from current champion Dominick Cruz at WEC 50 in August. That bout marked the second decision loss he has suffered, both at the hands of Cruz. They are the only two blemishes on Benavidez’s 12-2 professional record.

Fabiano also enters the bout with two losses on his professional resume. He has 14 victories, including back-to-back decision wins over Frank Gomez and Clint Godfrey since making the drop to the 135-pound division. He made the move after losing via triangle choke to Mackens Semerzier at WEC 43 a year ago.

Bowles had to bow out after suffering a broken foot while sparring, his manager, Andrew Beach, told on Wednesday. The injury is likely to sideline him until early 2011.

The bantamweight debut of Urijah Faber, who faces Takeya Mizugaki, headlines WEC 52 at The Pearl at The Palms Resort & Casino. It will also be telecast on the Versus sports network.