Newly minted WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has confirmed he will be making his first title defense against a familiar foe in Joseph Benavidez.
“It’s official peeps! Me vs. Benavidez again! I’m pumped! And will be more than ready to defend MY belt!,” Cruz Tweeted Wednesday morning.
Cruz took a convincing unanimous decision over Benavidez at WEC 42 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 then champ Brian Bowles at WEC 47 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.
“I’ve fought him already and I’m down to fight [Benavidez] again,” Cruz stated during the WEC 47 post-fight press conference. “I’ll fight whoever the WEC puts in front of me. If you’re a real champion — I’ve never picked my fights.”
That same evening, Benavidez looked sensational from beginning to end in his trouncing of former bantamweight king Miguel Torres. It took the Alpha Male trained fighter less than 2Rounds to dispose of MMA’s baddest mullet, leaving no doubt as to who’s most deserving of a shot at Cruz’ new crown.
CarmichaelDave was the first to report on the title bout late Tuesday evening, and added that talented Scott Jorgensen would be participating in the event as well.
The August 18th show is expected to take place inside The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will likely be dubbed WEC 50.