Columbus, Ohio — Heavy.com is on the scene for tonight’s WEC 47 event at the Nationwide Arena. The show is headlined by Brian Bowles making his first bantamweight title defense as he takes on Dominick Cruz. Former champion Miguel Torres also makes his first trip back into the cage since losing to Bowles last August. Results from each fight, including the non-televised preliminary card bouts, are available after the jump.
BENDY CASIMIR VS. RICARDO LAMAS
Bendy Casimir said he wasn’t afraid to stand with Ricardo Lamas, but he should have been. Casimir, who held his own in the opening moments of the bout, was caught with a vicious jumping left knee from Lamas near the end of the first that knocked him completely unconscious. The Nationwide Arena crowd came to life and roared their approval, but Casimir didn’t hear it. Lamas wins with a spectacular knockout at 3:43 of the first round. After the fight, Lamas said that he respected Casimir’s ground game, but knew he needed a knockout to make a statement to the powers that be in the WEC that he wanted to face bigger names. He may just get his chance after that finish. Ricardo Lamas d. Bendy Casimir, round 1 (KO)
COURTNEY BUCK VS. FREDSON PAIXAO
Courtney Buck tried to keep the fight standing for as long as possible, but didn’t have much success. Paixao took Buck to the ground early and almost immediately secured a rear naked choke. At that point, it was elementary, as Paixao continually worked for a rear naked choke before finally securing it. Buck didn’t tap and appeared to be unconscious for a good five seconds before the ref realized it. Paixao wins by rear naked choke in the first. Fredson Paixao d. Courtney Buck, round 1 (submission)
GEORGE ROOP VS. LEONARD GARCIA
Leonard Garcia’s game consists of attempting one haymaker after another. George Roop’s gameplan against Garcia consisted of waiting for Garcia to throw those big punches, moving swiftly and jabbing effectively. The judges for this fight? Their gameplan consisted of poor and confusing scoring. Roop essentially won all three rounds, but was deducted a point after a kick to the groin. Heavy.com (and most MMA journalists at cageside) scored the fight 30-27 for Roop, but one judge somehow gave the fight to Garcia 29-27. It was quite confusing, but the end result is a split draw. The first round was fairly close and I could see it going either way, but I can’t imagine any way that Garcia won rounds two or three. But as one WEC official told me after the fight, that’s what happens when you put it in the hands of the judges.
ANTHONY PETTIS VS. DANNY CASTILLO
Anthony Pettis’ corner told him to pump the jab in order to set up the left head kick. To say it worked effectively would be an understatement, to say the least. Pettis landed a monster head kick, knocking Castillo out cold and ending his night at 2:17 of the first round. That was straight out of Mirko Cro Cop’s playbook. It continues a string of four great fights and finishes for tonight’s event — the televised card is going to have a tough time keeping up with this one. Anthony Pettis d. Danny Castillo, round 1 (KO)
ERIK KOCH VS. CHAD MENDES
The fans here in Columbus were spoiled by the first four fights of the night, which featured knockouts, submissions and a strange split draw. This fight was the perfect antidote for that excitement. Chad Mendes, making his WEC debut, utilized his impeccable wrestling skills to neutralize Erik Koch on the ground throughout much of the fight on the way to a unanimous decision victory. It wasn’t pretty, but the Urijah Faber-trained featherweight makes a successful debut. Chad Mendes d. Erik Koch via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
CHAD GEORGE VS. SCOTT JORGENSEN
Well, there’s not much to say about this fight. Chad George shot almost immediately, and Jorgensen latched on a tight standing guillotine. George fought it, but Jorgensen lifted him off the ground with the guillotine and George tapped out at 31 seconds. Scott Jorgensen d. Chad George via submission.
BART PALASZEWSKI VS. KAREN DARABEDYAN
It really looked as though Darabedyan would cruise to victory through much of the first round. He continually landed big shots to Palaszewski on the ground and was on his way to an easy 10-9 in the first…until Palaszewski caught him with a deep armbar and forced the tap. Palaszewski had worked towards the armbar for much of the first with little success, but finally found an opening when Darabedyan put things on cruise control. It was a good submission and a good showing of toughness for Palaszewski. Bart Palaszewski d. Karen Darabedyan via submission, round 1
L.C. DAVIS VS. DEIVIDAS TAUROSEVICIUS
I’d write more about this fight, but it was dreadfully boring and uninspiring. There was almost zero action for the entire fight, with the sole offensive highlight being an L.C. Davis takedown. The rest of the fight was spent in a clinch battle against the cage, a rare bad fight on a WEC card. Judge Jeff Blatnick scored the fight 29-29, which sounds like the right decision, but the remaining judges scored the fight in favor of Davis. L.C. Davis d. Deividas Taurosevicius by majority decision.
JENS PULVER VS. JAVIER VASQUEZ
Jens Pulver said before tonight’s fight that he’s a different man, that his recent losing streak was a result of mental issues. That may be true, but Pulver didn’t have any more luck in the cage than he has in recent outings, losing by armbar to Javier Vasquez in the first round. The heavily pro-Pulver crowd fell silent as the despondent Pulver held his injured arm in the cage. After the fight, the suddenly unpopular Javier Vasquez noted that he was a huge fan of Pulver and said he couldn’t have scripted the ending any better. In an emotional scene after the fight, a weeping Pulver said that he didn’t want to put the fans through the same ordeal again. He stopped short of saying that he was retiring, but it sure sounded like the final words from a classy veteran of the sport. Javier Vasquez d. Jens Pulver via submission, round 1
JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. MIGUEL TORRES
The main question heading in this fight centered around how Miguel Torres would respond to being knocked out in his last fight by Brian Bowles. Joseph Benavidez didn’t give Torres a chance to show how much he’d improved, though, bullying Torres around the cage and finally stopped him with a guillotine choke in the second round. Benavidez feinted with a jab and, when Torres flinched, changed levels into a beautiful takedown. Once there, he drilled Torres with a big elbow that opened a gigantic gash on his forehead, a bad enough cut that the fight could have be stopped. But Benavidez didn’t allow that to happen, securing a tight guillotine and forcing the former champion to tap out for the second time in a row. Joseph Benavidez d. Miguel Torres via submission
BRIAN BOWLES VS. DOMINICK CRUZ
Talk about anticlimactic. Brian Bowles, the powerful champion who ended the reign of Miguel Torres with a vicious knockout, ended his own title reign between rounds, in his corner, with a broken hand. Midway through the second round, Bowles began shaking his right hand and stopped throwing punches with it. After the second round ended, he told the ref that he couldn’t continue with the broken hand, thus conceding his championship to Cruz.
Cruz was beating Bowles prior to the injury. He used his lightning-quick footwork and strange angles to maximum effectiveness, counter-punching the advance Bowles and landing constant right hands.
After the fight, Bowles acknowledged that he broke his hand on the first punch of the night. Bowles said it threw him off his gameplan and he never recovered mentally.
Cruz is almost certain to defend his new title against Joseph Benavidez.