WEC 50: "Cruz vs. Benavidez" is all set for tonight (August 18) from "The Pearl" from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The five-fight main card will air live on the cable channel Versus beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will defend his title for the first time ever in the night's featured main event against Team Alpha Male product Joseph Benavidez in a rematch of a barn-burner of a fight from WEC 42 last summer.
Shane Roller, Anthony Pettis, Scott Jorgensen, Bart Palaszewski, Cub Swanson, and several other WEC stars will be in action on the card as well.
Of course, MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of WEC 50 below, beginning with the Versus telecast at 9 p.m. ET. We'll also deliver quick results of all the action from the preliminary card earlier in the evening.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the event to share their thoughts on the action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment or 49 before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after "Cruz vs. Benavidez."
Without further delay, see below for the latest WEC 50 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action!)
WEC 50 QUICK RESULTS:
Dominick Cruz defeats Joseph Benavidez via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
Bart Palaszewski defeats Zach Micklewright via technical knockout (strikes) at 0:31 of round two
Scott Jorgensen defeats Brad Pickett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Anthony Pettis defeats Shane Roller via submission (triangle choke) at 4:51 of round three
Chad Mendes defeats Cub Swanson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Javier Vazquez defeats Mackens Semerzier via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:35 of round two
Ricardo Lamas defeats Dave Jansen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Fredson Paixao defeats Bryan Caraway via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Maciej Jewtuszko defeats Anthony Njokuani via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:35 of round one
Danny Castillo defeats Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
WEC 50 PLAY-BY-PLAY LIVE MAIN CARD COMMENTARY:
135 lbs.: Dominick Cruz vs. Joseph Benavidez
Round one: Here we go with the big one! No gloves touching here. Push kick from Benavidez. Cruz's footwork is on display here early. Nice lean in punch from Cruz. They tie up momentarily. High kick is blocked by Benavidez. Both fighters miss with right hands. Benavidez lands one now. Nice counter right from the challenger. High kick is blocked again by Benavidez, but Cruz is able to land a nice right hand off of that that drops Benavidez for a second. He pops right back up. That may have been a slip. Cruz with a hard body shot and Benavidez latches on for a clinch. Knee to the body from the champ. Cruz has Benavidez against the cage here. Another knee as the separate. Nice leg kick from Cruz, but Benavidez makes him pay with a big counter punch. Leg kick from Cruz. Nice combo from Benavidez. Another nice coutner punch from the challenger. Another hard leg kick from the champ. Uppercut from Cruz. Cruz with great movement. Benavidez catches him with a left hand. Cruz answers with another kick. Hard counter right from Benavidez. Wow. Cruz just ate that and it was right on the chin. Cruz times a kick and scores a takedown. Benavidez looking for a guillotine. Cruz escapes. Nice ground strikes from Cruz. Elbows from Benavidez from the bottom. The round ends there and it was a close round. The takedown may be the difference for the champ.
Round two: Cruz on the stalk right away. Nice counter from Benavidez. Hard leg kick from Cruz, but Benavidez times a right hand counter perfectly. Cruz gets tripped up. Benavidez on him with a guillotine, but Cruz escapes back to his feet. Nice exchange. Benavidez is bleeding from his head. Hard leg kick from Cruz. Benavidez again times a nice counter combination of punches. Cruz eats another counter combo. Benavidez is standing tough in the center and countering nicely here. Leg kick from the challenger. Cruz swings wildly and misses with a left hook. Benavidez now whiffs on a right hand. Nice right hand lands for the champ. Benavidez again times a counter punch on a leg kick from Cruz. Benavidez shoots for a single. Cruz defends it well and they separate. Nice right hand from Cruz. Push kick from Benavidez. Benavidez shoots again and gets nothing. Cruz with a flying knee. Nice counter from Benavidez. Both fighters miss with big strikes, Benavidez a kick and Cruz an uppercut. Cruz shoots and scores on a double leg with 15 seconds to go. Benavidez tries for a guillotine and then pops back to his feet. Another close round. I'd give it to Benavidez. His counter striking was on point that round, and the takedown at the end was meaningless.
Round three: Benavidez wants the center again. He's looking to counter strike. Benavidez with a takedown attempt. Cruz sprawls nicely to avoid it. Benavidez just misses with a hard right hand. Nice leg kick from the challenger. Cruz sneaks a right hand in. Now he gets a high kick blocked. Another gets blocked. Benavidez with a leg kick. Nice right hand and Benavidez tries for anther takedown. Again he gets stuffed. High kick just misses on the break from Benavidez. Cruz leans in and Benavidez again tries unsuccessfully for a takedown. Nice right from the champ. Both fighters exchange right hands at the same time. Into the clinch now and Cruz drives Benavidez into the cage. Benavidez reverses and looks for the single leg takedown. Cruz defends it and they separate. Cruz showing his jab, but he's not landing it. Now he lands one. Leg kick from Benavidez. Cruz fires back, but Benavidez counters with a leg kick and punch combo that does some damage. Cruz with another leg kick. They tie up in the center and Benavidez does nicely to punch and kick is way out. Nice body kick from Cruz. Body punches from Benavidea. Cruz again shoots with seconds remaining in the round, and again he scores with it. Those aren't worth much to me at this point. I'd still give that round to Benavidez.
Round four: Championship rounds here! Benavidez misses with an overhand right and Cruz makes him pay with a takedown. Quick pass to side control for the champ. Benavidez works and gets half guard. Now full guard. Nice punches to the body and head from the champ. Benavidez tries for a guillotine, but he has nothing. Cruz is pounding away at the challenger from the top. Benavidez is warned about grabbing the fence. Cruz gets half guard. Now Benavidez gives up his back. He escapes and climbs back to his feet. Now Benavidez turns the table and has a single leg takedown attempt. Cruz defends it well and stands. Benavidez grabs on for another guillotine, but he has to let it go. Cruz with double underhooks against the fence here. Nice knee from Benavidez. Nice toss from Benavidez, but Cruz pops back to his feet and keeps Benavidez pinned against the cage. Blood coming from the bridge of the champ's nose now. Quick takedown for Cruz. Benavidez tries for a guillotine again. Nothing. Cruz to half guard. Knees to the body now from side control. Cruz now gets a full mount and Benavidez scrambles nicely to his feet. Double leg attempt for Benavidez, but he just hasn't been able to have success with any sort of takedown tonight. A big round for the champ ends there.
Round five: Cruz takes the center and shoots for a takedown. Excellent defense from Benavidez as he tosses him off. Nice right hand from the champ. Benavidez charges forward and misses with a right. Benavidez tries to time a counter punch, but he misses with it. Big exchange with both guys connecting. Benavidez drops down for a takedown, but he can't get it. Benavidez with a nice combo of punches. Flying knee from Cruz. Benavidez ducks under it to avoid it. Benavidez walking the champ down now. He eats a kick to the body. Now a push kick from Benavidez. Push kick from the champ as he avoids a right hand from Benavidez. Benavidez with a leg kick. Big exchange in the middle with both guys scoring. Spinning backfist from Benavidez! Right hand from a stalking Benavidez. Spinning backfist again, but it misses this time. Right hand lands for the challenger. Benavidez tries for another takedown, but he can't get it. Great takedown defense from the champion in this fight. Big right hand lands for Benavidez. Cruz leans in and eats another. He tries a knee but misses. Benavidez slips while swinging hard and missing with a right hand. Thirty seconds. Benavidez is flurrying. Big exchanges and now Cruz scores with a takedown. Flurry from the top by the champion and the fight ends there. The takedown was there at the end by Cruz again, but still, Benavidez won the rest of the round on his feet. It's going to be interesting to see how this fight is scored.
Final result: Dominick Cruz defeats Joseph Benavidez via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
155 lbs.: Zach Micklewright vs. Bart Palaszewski
Round one: Gloves touch and we're underway with the first fight of the Versus telecast. Zack takes the center of the cage right away and Bartimus drills him with a leg kick. Another. Zack feeling out the jab and he takes another leg kick from Palaszewski. Mickelwright with a flurry and he ends it with a hard right hand. Nice counter left hook by Bartimus on an exchange. Another big exchange and Mickelwright gets the best of it with a nice left hook. Bartimus clinches to avoid anymore punishment. Against the cage now with both fighters jockeying for position. The referee wants action and calls from a separation. Nice leg kick from Mickelwright. Bartimus fires right back with one of his own. Zack walks him into the fence and unloads a combination. Nice head movement and counter boxing from Palaszewski as he circles away. Another big counter punch lands for Bartimus. Leg kick from Zach. Nicely timed combination of punches from Palaszewski as Zach lands a leg kick. Nice straight punches now from Mickelwright. Low kick to the groin from Mickelwright, but Palaszewski is okay and they restart right away. Leg kick from Mickelwright. Bart tries to time the counter punch again, but this time Mickelwright is ready for it and avoids it well. Kick to the groin from Bartimus now and there's another pause in the action. Back underway. Big counter right lands flush for Bartimus. Another solid right hand from Bart. Mickelwright is backpedaling now for the first time. Nice uppercut from Palaszewski who is winning this round with his counter striking. High kick gets blocked by Zach. Nice right hand from Zach. Another high kick from Palaszewski gets blocked at the bell. 10-9 Palaszewski.
Round two: Zach takes the center right away. Bartimus flashing his jab and he lands a right hand. Beautiful counter left hand from Bartimus sends Mickelwright retreating. Bartimus is all over him now with a big flurry of punches. Zach has his hands up, but Bartimus is smothering him against the cage. Body kick now. Huge right hand finds the button and floors Mickelwright. That's it. The referee steps in and this fight is over. Very impressive fight for Bartimus.
Final result: Bart Palaszewski defeats Zach Micklewright via technical knockout (strikes) at 0:31 of round two
155 lbs.: Scott Jorgensen vs. Brad Pickett
Round one: Jab from Picket opens up the action. Jorgensen circling around and he flashes some jabs. Straight right from Pickett and Jorgensen gets dropped. He pops right back up, though. Into the clinch momentarily before Pickett pushes out. Nicely timed right hand from Pickett as Jorgensen tries a leg kick. Back into the clinch here and Pickett is looking for a double leg takedown. Nice defense from Jorgensen and they separate. Big right hand misses from Pickett. Now he lands with a two punch combo. Jorgensen is not looking too comfortable on his feet in the early going. Jorgensen firing away with jabs now, but Pickett showing some excellent head movement to avoid most of them. Jorgensen shoots in now and gets the takedown, but Pickett is right back to his feet. Jorgensen sneaks a nice right hand in there. Pickett fires back with a hard two punch combo. A hard jab lands right on the chin from Jorgensen and Pickett's mouthpiece goes flying and he drops to the mat for a second before hopping back up. Jorgensen trying to finish here, but Pickett ties him up with his back against the fence. He looks to have recovered here as Jorgensen goes to work with knees. Pickett lands a right hand as Jorgensen pushes out of the clinch. Another big right hand stuns Jorgensen. He's okay, though, and now he lands an overhand right, followed by another hard jab. Much better stand up from Jorgensen in the second half of this round. Jorgensen shoots now and scores on a double leg takedown. Pickett takes advantage and locks in a guillotine choke. Jorgensen escapes by passing to side control. Nice elbows from Jorgensen. Pickett fights to get back to his feet and he does. Flying knee from Pickett. Jorgensen eats it and stands tough. Low kick from Jorgensen. Nice uppercut from Jorgensen. Pickett lands a right hand, but eats another knee right before the bell. Great round. 10-9 Jorgensen.
Round two: Pickett takes the center and tees off with big punches. Jorgensen eats them and circles away. Jorgensen shoots, but Pickett stuffs it. Nice uppercut from Pickett. Jabs landing for both fighters. Knee from Pickett out of a brief clinch. Pickett with some nice stand up to start this round. Another nice uppercut from Pickett. Jorgensen times a counter left hook. Overhand right just misses from Pickett. Hard left hook lands for him, though. Jorgensen now leans in and drills Pickett with a two punch combo. Pickett fires right back with a right hand. Pickett loses his mouthpiece again and there's a brief pause for him to put it back in. Back underway and Jorgensen shoots. Pickett does well to defend it and get separation. Pickett shoots now and Jorgensen stuffs it. Still clinched here and Pickett uncorks a low knee to the groin. The referee calls for a timeout while he recovers from the unintentional blow. Back underway. More big punches from Pickett. Jorgensen times a nice counter right hand. Pickett moving forward with wreckless abandon now. Jorgensen again counters will. Pickett shoots and Jorgensen reverses to take the top position on the ground. Picket with a closed guard. Elbows from Jorgensen. Jorgensen looking to pass now. He stands and gets side mount. Pickett stands, but Jorgensen has a guillotine. Pickett escapes and there's a nice exchange. Pickett shoots at the bell but gets stuffed. Another great round. I'd give it to Pickett for the striking and because he didn't spend too much time on his back after the takedown.
Round three: Pickett's eye is all blacked up coming out for this round. He takes the center and shows his jab. Nice uppercuts from Pickett. Jorgensen firing with straight punches now. Big exchange with Pickett landing a hard left hook at the end. Jorgensen flashing his jab here. Push kick from Jorgensen. Single leg takedown scores from Jorgensen. Into Pickett's full guard. Pickett with a half hearted guillotine, but he has nothing. Punches to the body from Jorgensen. Pickett trying to stay aggressive off his back. He's looking for a triangle. Jorgensen defends it, but Pickett uses the opportunity to get back to his feet. Jabs from both guys. Left hook from Picket. Pickett is winning most of the exchanges here. His jab is landing nicely as well. Jorgensen with another takdown, though, and that may be the difference in this decision. Elbows and punches from Jorgensen. Pickett with another triangle attempt and Jorgensen gets side control becasue of it. He's looking for mount, but can't get it. Knees to the side from Jorgensen. Pickett is doing a nice job not letting Jorgensen get mount, but he's not doing much else. Now he gives up his back. He tries to roll out, but Jorgensen is glued to him. Now Pickett reverses and takes the top with ten seconds left. A great fight ends there. Jorgensen took that round and the fight on my scorecard.
Final result: Scott Jorgensen defeats Brad Pickett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
155 lbs.: Anthony Pettis vs. Shane Roller
Round one: Both fighters exchange left hooks to start and Roller shoots in right away looking for the takedown. Pettis defends it well until Roller trips him up. Pettis pops right back up. No harm done. Pettis stalking now and Roller shoots for a single. Pettis defends and has his back against the fence here. Roller with some knees from the clinch. Pettis punches out nicely and they separate. Leg kick from Pettis. High kick now from Pettis. Roller circles and fires a big right hand. He uses that to initiate another clinch and he pulls Pettis to the floor. Pettis lands on top of Roller and elects to get back to his feet. Pettis leans in with a nice combination of punches now. Flying knee from Pettis followed by some hard punches. Roller clinches and knees Pettis as they separate. Nice leg kick from Pettis. Roller leans in with a jab and he eats a counter punch. He stays in there though and continues with punches. Nice head movement from Pettis, though. High kick from Pettis and Roller is backpedaling. Flying knee attempt and Roller takes advantage and clinches. He's trying for another takedown, but he doesn't have it. Knees now from Roller out of the clinch. He looks to be recovered from the earlier flurry by Pettis. Pettis gets shoved to his back and tries an upkick that misses at the bell. 10-9 Pettis.
Round two: Roller takes the center and tries a leg kick. Roller leans in with jabs and gets another clinch. He's got a single now, but Pettis escapes and gets separation. Pettis stalking now and he lands a couple of hard leg kicks. Right hand now from Pettis. Roller shoots and eats a kick. Pettis sort of falls into a takedown and lands on top of Roller. Roller with a closed guard. Pettis staying busy with punches to the head and body. Pettis with good top control and ground and pound here. Roller isn't doing much but holding on and eating punches to the body and head. Pettis is lighting up Roller's side with punches. Roller looking for a triangle, but Pettis escapes to his feet. Roller follows him and lands a nice left hook. Pettis gets back into the cage and Roller unloads a flurry of punches. Pettis is firing back now and Roller wants another clinch. Elbows from ther from Roller. Roller with a trip takedown and he lands in full mount. Fantastic reversal from Pettis and he ends up on top of Roller. He's raining down big right hands now. Wow! Side control now for Pettis. Elbows from Pettis. Roller explodes and they get back to their feet. Pettis attempts a spinning head kick that Roller is just able to duck under at the bell. 10-9 Pettis.
Round three: Jabs from both fighters. Leg kick from Pettis. Roller stalking him down as he circles away. Jab lands for Pettis. Roller shoots and gets a big slamming takedown off a double. Right into side control for Roller. Pettis looking for a kimura. Roller escapes and stands over Pettis. Pettis pulls him back into his guard. Roller stacks him up now and Pettis almost gets a triangle. Roller isn't doing much from the top and Pettis is close with another triangle again. Roller escapes and maintains the top position. He's looking for a guillotine now, but Pettis isn't having any of that. Roller stands and lands another right hand. Pettis stands and a tired Roller follows him. Pettis misses with a lazy high kick. Roller moving forward as Pettis circles. Roller misses with a right. They exchange leg kicks. Hard leg kick then a right hand from Pettis. Roller definitely felt that combo. Now Pettis shoots and he gets a takedown now. They don't spend much time down there though as Pettis stands right back up. Leg kick from Pettis as a tired Roller tries to walk him down. Punches from Roller and Pettis gets a body lock and another takedown. Roller has a guillotine! Pettis has half guard though and Roller lets it go. Pettis fighting off his back and he's looking for the triangle again. He's got it! He tightens it up and it is very deep. Less than 20 seconds remaining, but Roller is in deep trouble here. That's it. He taps out and this fight is over. Great fight and great performance from Anthony Pettis.
Final result: Anthony Pettis defeats Shane Roller via submission (triangle choke) at 4:51 of round three
145 lbs.: Chad Mendes vs. Cub Swanson
Round one: Cub dancing around, switching up his stance to start here. Mendes has the center. Jab from Cub. Mendes avoids another. Mendes charges forward and drills Cub with a right hand. There's a brief clinch. Mendes with a knee on the separation. Cub misses with a big right hand. Cub shoots in and Mendes wraps him up and gets the takedown himself. Right into side control for Mendes after taking Cub's back momentarily. Shoulder punches from Mendes. The referee calls from action as Mendes isn't doing much from the top. Mendes looking for mount, but Cub defends it well. Great control her for Mendes, but he still hasn't done much. Now finally a big punch lands from Mendes. Now the referee has seen enough and he wants a stand up. Nice right from Mendes. Cub misses on a high kick. Now he swings wildly at the body and misses. Nice one-two from Cub. Now a leg kick, but Mendes makes him pay and dumps him back onto the floor. Cub does well to get back to his feet quickly. Jabs from Cub. Overhand right now from Swanson. Cub has the center of the cage and he's throwing jabs. Nice counter punch from Mendes. Cub with a flying knee attempt and Mendes makes him pay by putting him on his back again right at the bell. 10-9 Mendes.
Round two: Hard leg kick lands from Mendes and right away he scores on an easy double leg takedown. Cub had no defense for that. Cub does well to get back to his feet again. Punches from Cub and Mendes shoots again. Cub shrugs it off and unloads with a flurry of punches and kicks. Mendes felt those. Hard leg kick from Cub. Nice counter right hand from Mendes. Jab from Cub. Now a right hand. Another. More jabs. Nice counter right from Swanson as Mendes rushes forward. Cub can't stop the takedown though and he's on his back again. Mendes in half guard. Cub gets full guard back. Nice strikes from Cub from the bottom. He's trying to get back up, but Mendes is all over him. Excellent control from Mendes to pin Swanson on his back again. Body punches landing for Mendes in Cub's full guard. Thirty seconds remaining. Mendes manhandling Swanson here. Cub looking for a kimura. He lets it go and somehow escapes back to his feet right before the bell sounds. Another 10-9 for Mendes with the takedowns and ground control.
Round three: Cub takes the center and wants to exchange right away. Mendes gets in his face and puts him back on the floor. He might have slipped there. Either way, these are more points for Mendes. Punches from Cub off his back. He's trying to climb the cage and he does. They separate. Leg kick from Cub. Nice jab from Cub. Mendes swinging wildly, but Cub with some nice head movement. Mendes shoots quickly and slams Cub to the mat again. Cub with a rubber guard and he's landing punches. He's looking for the omoplata, but Mendes escapes. Now Mendes has mount. Cub gets half guard back. Cub with punches from the bottom. Now he gets full guard back. Mendes explodes with punches. Now a hard elbow lands for Mendes. Cub escapes back to his feet. He tries a flying knee and Mendes makes him pay with another slam. Cub hops back up and lands a hard leg kick. Cub with big punches now. Mendes with a hard counter right hand. Leg kick from Cub. Cub stalking and Mendes shoots and scores with another takdown. Cub looking for the omoplata again, but he doesn't have it. The bell sounds and the fight ends there. I've got Mendes 30-27.
Final result: Chad Mendes defeats Cub Swanson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)