Joseph Benavidez file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles has withdrawn from his fight due to a broken foot at WEC 52 on Nov. 11 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Bowles was scheduled to fight Wagnney Fabiano, but the Brazilian will now likely meet Joseph Benavidez instead. The news of Bowles' injury was first reported by MMAjunkie.com and confirmed by Sherdog on Wednesday.
A product of the HardCore gym, Bowles is coming off the first loss of his career. In his first bantamweight title defense, the Athens, Ga. product was forced to retire in the second round against current champ Dominick Cruz due to a broken hand. Bowles won the title at WEC 42 in 2009 when he knocked out long-time bantamweight king Miguel Torres in the first frame with brutal ground-and-pound. That conquest marked Bowles' fifth consecutive victory in the WEC cage. The 30-year-old holds wins over contenders Will Ribeiro, Damacio Page and Charlie Valencia. Bowles made his fighting debut in 2006, earning a first-round submission win over Tim Honeycutt.
Bowles' replacement will likely be Team Alpha Male standout Joseph Benavidez. The stocky, powerful bantamweight's only losses have come at the hands of Dominick Cruz. Benavidez challenged for Cruz's title in August but was turned away, losing a five-round unanimous decision to the champion. Prior to that bout, Benavidez was on a tear in the WEC, winning four of his first five fights in the promotion, including a slick submission victory over Miguel Torres. Before signing with the WEC, Benavidez fought once abroad, submitting Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto replacement Junya Kudo at Dream 5 in 2008 in Osaka, Japan.
WEC 52 will be headlined by former featherweight champion Urijah Faber, as he makes his 135-pound debut against Japanese slugger Takeya Mizugaki.