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WEC Champ Dominick Cruz: “I’m Down to Fight [Joseph Benavidez] Again”

Written by Tom Ngo
March 10th, 2010

Although Dominick Cruz left the Nationwide Arena with the bantamweight title, his anticlimactic victory over former champ Brian Bowles left fans raving about the spectacular performance Joseph Benavidez put on in his submission win over Miguel Torres.

That’s just fine and dandy with the newly-minted champion because he was talking about Benavidez as well.

“I’ve fought him already and I’m down to fight [Joseph Benavidez] again,” stated Cruz. “I’ll fight whoever the WEC puts in front of me. If you’re a real champion — I’ve never picked my fights.”

Cruz took a convincing unanimous decision over Benavidez at WEC 42 this last August to earn himself a shot at the gold.  It is the only blemish on Benavidez’ 12-1 resume.

Cruz captured the title by taking a 2ndRound TKO over Bowles after doctors deemed his broken right hand was too jacked-up to continue. Although Bowles fought most of the bout with just one paw, Cruz appeared to be the superior competitor throughout their contest nonetheless – constantly beating the former title holder to the punch.

Benavidez, on the other hand, looked sensational from beginning to end in his trouncing of Torres. It took the Alpha Male-trained fighter less than 2Rounds to dispose of MMA’s baddest mullet, and that’s why he feels he’s deserving of a shot at Cruz’ new crown.

“I’d love to go in there and avenge my only loss against Dominick,” Benavidez said of a potential rematch. “It was a tough fight. I think it was a great fight for the fans and we put on a great show. We both could have gone two more rounds — it was a 3Round fight — and I’d love to do that.”

JoeB135 may believe cage fans want to see the 135-pound championship scrap, but Reed Harris, the WEC’s general manager, wasn’t so quick to put the bantamweight title fight on his Outlook calendar.

“We really don’t talk a lot about where we’re going with fights until the fights happen,” said Harris. “It’s one of these things I’ve learned from doing this a long time — don’t make plans, because anything could happen out there.”

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