The WEC has just announced two spectacular matchups for their “WEC 47: Bowles vs. Cruz” event in Columbus, Ohio. Former bantamweight champion Miguel Torres will co-headline the show against Joseph Benavidez, and MMA veteran Jens Pulver will meet Javier Vazquez in a 145-pound contest.
They say that a mark of a true champion is how they respond to adversity and Torres will get the opportunity to show his mettle as he looks to bounce back from suffering his first loss in over 5 years. The owner of MMA’s baddest mullet was perfect through his last 17 fights before bumping into Brian Bowles’ fist at WEC 42.
Although he wasn’t granted an immediate rematch following the upset loss, an impressive win over Benavidez inside the Nationwide Arena would certainly justify a shot to win his title back.
“I can’t wait to get back in the cage and show what I can do,” Torres stated in the press release. “Benavidez is probably the top contender at 135 right now and I want to prove that I’m still the best in this division. I want to earn my way back to the belt.”
The company certainly didn’t do the the former 135-pound king any favors as they pitted him against one of the division’s fastest rising stars. Benavidez owns an impressive 11-1 record, with his sole hiccup came in a resounding unanimous decision loss to Dominick Cruz that same WEC 42 evening.
“I have envisioned us fighting for a long time,” Benavidez said. “I think fans are in for one of the best fights of the year. I think I’m capable of beating him. I’m really looking forward to proving myself against someone people have considered a legend and the best in the world.”
This could be Pulver’s last hurrah as the former UFC lightweight champion has lost four consecutive fights. Pulver has been one of the sport’s gutsiest performers throughout his career, however a 5th straight loss should have 34-year-old announcing his retirement during the WEC 47 post-fight press conference.
Vazquez owns a respectable 13-4 professional record, however has lost his last two – each coming in the WEC. Although his career doesn’t hang in the balance like Pulver’s, there’s no faster ticket out of the WEC than going 0-3.
Here are the fighters rumored for the March 6th Versus broadcast:
Chad Mendes vs. TBD
Jens Pulver vs. Javier Vazquez
Miguel Torres vs. Joseph Benavidez
Dominick Cruz vs. Brian Bowles (WEC Bantamweight Title Bout)