On August 18 “The Pearl” at the Palms in Las Vegas will be the spot where the WEC’s latest promotion comes to town for WEC 50 – Cruz vs. Benavidez.
The Bantamweight strap will be on the line once again, and Dominick Cruz (15-1) will look to become the first WEC Bantamweight champion to defend the belt since April 2009. Joseph Benavidez (12-1) will be looking for double redemption with a win Wednesday night: He can become the new WEC Bantamweight champion, and he can avenge the only loss he suffered in his career against Cruz two years ago. The outcome of their first fight was a surprise for most experts. Most expected that Benavidez’s power and superior wrestling skills would control Cruz, but what we watched was Cruz beating Benavidez to the punch and handing him a unanimous decision loss. That was enough for bookmakers to make Cruz a -300 favorite to retain his Bantamweight title. He’s coming off five straight wins as at 135lbs, wins over the best fighters in the division. Benavidez was surprised by the speed Cruz brought in their first fight and was easily dominated for a unanimous decision loss. Since the loss to Cruz, Benavidez has been a motivated fighter, easily handling Rani Yahya and Miguel Torres on his way to this title shot. He looks like a good choice at +215, but he will have to have a good game plan against Cruz this time.
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The main WEC 50 card will also feature Anthony Pettis (11-1) and Shane Roller (8-2) fighting at 155lbs. Roller’s wrestling ability makes him the -180 favorite in this one, while Pettis will pay +150 for the upset. Undefeated Chad Mendes (7-0) will be a -290 favorite over Cub Swanson (14-3). Swanson will pay +230 for the unlikely upset, while Mendes comes in at -290. Scott Jorgensen (10-3) and Brad Pickett (19-4) will also fight at 155lbs. Pickett is a slight dog at +180, while Jorgensen pays -220. The last fight on the main card is big -340 favorite Bart Palaszewski (34-13) against undefeated Zack Micklewright (7-0) +260.
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