Cruz, Benavidez Greenlit for WEC 50

By Brian Knapp Aug 17, 2010
The path to the rematch has been paved.

World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz tipped the scales at 134 pounds for his first rematch against Joseph Benavidez (134) in the WEC 50 “Cruz vs. Benavidez 2” main event on Wednesday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The eight other combatants booked to compete on the main card -- including co-headliners Anthony Pettis (155) and Shane Roller (156) -- also met their mandated weight requirements at Tuesday’s official weigh-in.

Cruz used his unanimous decision victory over Benavidez at WEC 42 as a springboard to title contention and seven months later defeated Brian Bowles to capture the bantamweight crown.

Based at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., Cruz trains with UFC veteran Brandon Vera and surging light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis. The 24-year-old Arizonan, fully recovered from the hand injury he sustained against Bowles, has recorded nearly half (seven) of his 15 wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Unbeaten as a bantamweight, Cruz suffered his lone career defeat to former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber -- the man who mentors Benavidez. He will carry a six-fight winning streak into the match.

Benavidez last appeared at WEC 47 in March, when he walked down former champion Miguel Torres, opened a gruesome second-round cut with an elbow and finished him with a guillotine choke. Spawned by Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., the 26-year-old has rattled off back-to-back wins since his unanimous decision loss to Cruz one year ago. Victories against 2007 Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships winner Rani Yahya and UFC veteran Jeff Curran anchor Benavidez’s resume. Ten of his 12 wins have come via knockout, technical knockout or submission.

WEC 50 -- which also features a featherweight matchup pitting Chad Mendes (145) against Cub Swanson (146), a bantamweight duel pairing the world-ranked Scott Jorgensen (135) with Brad Pickett (136) and a lightweight tilt between Bart Palaszewski (156) and Zachary Micklewright (156) -- will air live on the Versus network at 9 p.m. ET.

WEC 50 “Cruz vs. Benavidez 2”
Wednesday, Aug. 18
Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas

WEC Bantamweight Championship
Dominick Cruz (134) vs. Joseph Benavidez (134)

Anthony Pettis (155) vs. Shane Roller (156)
Chad Mendes (145) vs. Cub Swanson (146)
Scott Jorgensen (135) vs. Brad Pickett (136)
Bart Palaszewski (156) vs. Zachary Micklewright (156)
Anthony Njokuani (154) vs. Maciej Jewtuszko (155)
Javier Vazquez (145) vs. Mackens Semerzier (146)
Dave Jansen (156) vs. Ricardo Lamas (155)
Fredson Paixao (145) vs. Bryan Caraway (145)
Danny Castillo (156) vs. Dustin Poirier (156)
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