WEC 50: Cruz vs Benavidez PredictionsPosted on August 17, 2010, 11:39 PM by Joey Santosus
WEC Bantamweight Title Fight: Dominick Cruz (15-1) vs Joseph Benavidez (12-1)
I have went back and forth on this one multiple times. This is a tough pick with much to consider. While Cruz earned the unanimous decision in their first fight, it was a highly competitive match-up. Benavidez is known for finishing fights, with a high rate of submission victories and knock out power in both hands. However, it was Cruz's range and ability to put Benavidez on his back that became the deciding factor for the judges. The difference maker this time around will be the improvements, or lack thereof, Benavidez has made to his takedown defense. On the other hand, even if Cruz is able to employ his typically dominant top-game, will he be able to remain mistake-free for 25 minutes against the submission specialist? I think so... and while I predict we will see a more focused and improved challenger on fight night, I am not convinced it will be enough.
Dominick Cruz via Unanimous Decision
Shane Roller (8-2) vs Anthony Pettis (11-1)
The winner of this one could be next in line for a title shot. Roller is currently riding a three fight win streak, while Pettis has finished his last two opponents in impressive fashion. There is no doubt that Pettis, a Roufusport-trained kickboxer, will do all he can to keep the fight standing. The big question here will be whether he can manage to do so against the three time All-American wrestler Shane Roller. Logic tells me that takedown defense has likely been a focal-point for Pettis in his preparation for the bout though and he has shown in the past that he is not helpless from the bottom. I expect Roller to dump him on his back more than once, but Pettis will do enough to stymie any advancement.
Anthony Pettis via R3 KO
Cub Swanson (14-3) vs. Chad Mendes (7-0)
Winning this one will be a big victory for either man. Swanson has had a strong run in the promotion, but has come up short with tough losses against Jens Pulver and more recently Jose Aldo. Mendes is the latest prospect to emerge from Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male.Currently undefeated, he has won seven straight, including his first two WEC fights. Cub Swanson will have a marked striking advantage in this fight, however I do not think that will stop Mendes from charging forward and using his wrestling prowess to ground and ultimately pound his way to victory. Swanson's guillotine will be a threat as he looks to catch the youngster coming in, but in the end Mendes will prove to strong and athletic for him.
Chad Mendes via R2 TKO
Scott Jorgensen (10-3) vs. Brad Pickett (19-4)
Scott Jorgensen is likely next in line for a title shot in the Bantamweight division and he would like to keep it that way. However, doing so will be easier said than done when he meets the British scrapper, Brad Pickett. Undefeated in his last nine fights (2-0 in the WEC), Pickett has momentum on his side and with both heavy-hands and a skilled submission game; the newcomer will not make things easy for Jorgensen. Easy or not though, Jorgensen knows his time is now. And while Pickett should give him all that he can handle, I suspect Jorgensen will out point him in a potential fight of the night showing.
Scott Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision
Bart Palaszewski (34-13) vs. Zach Micklewright (7-0)
This is a classic veteran versus prospect match-up. With that said, Palaszewski isn't your average gate-keeper. At just 27 years old, he has 40 more fights than Micklewright. After going 1-2 in his first three with the promotion, Palaszewski has bounced back strong, defeating both Anthony Pettis and Karen Darabedyan. Micklewright showed promise in his debut back in December and clearly has a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, its a little further ahead than he had hoped. The up and comer will have an advantage in the stand-up department, which is why the fight will not take place there. Palaszewski grinds out his fourth straight victory. Bart Palaszewski via Split Decision