While the WEC doesn't get the same kind of national media attention like its big brother, the UFC, it probably puts on more entertaining cards consistently than any other MMA promotion out there. Why I am bring this up now you may ask? Because WEC 50 is tonight and chances are, you probably forgot. That doesn't mean you can't do some last minute research into the fight card to get yourself ready for some sweet, free (if you have Versus) MMA action. Heck, you might as well start with some of these fun tidbits below about the event.
Fight of the Night: Dominick Cruz vs. Joseph Benavidez. If you saw the first fight between these two at WEC 42 then I don't need to explain why I think this is going to be the Fight of the Night. In case you missed the first meeting between the two, it was fifteen minutes of non-stop action with Cruz pulling off the unanimous decision victory. The rematch between the two is probably going to go the same way with the only difference being that this is going to be a five round fight instead of a three because it is for the WEC Bantamweight title.
Knockout of the Night: Anthony Njokuani. In 2009, Njokuani won three fights in the WEC by knockout. Each time he was awarded Knockout of the Night. I think you understand why he is my pick for KOTN.
Submission of the Night: Fredson Paixão. Here are his credentials. In 1998, Paixão earned his black belt in BJJ under renowned trainer Osvaldo Alves. He is the nine time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu National Champion (1996-2004) and is the four time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion. The man probably could submit an elephant.
Non Combat Related Story of the Night: Who does Urijah Faber want to win? In 2007, Faber beat Cruz via submission. Two fights later, Cruz dropped from Featherweight to Bantamweight and has been undefeated ever since. Even though they weren't in the same weight class, bad blood between Cruz and Faber still exists. Well, Faber lost to the current Featherweight champ Jose Aldo a few months ago and decided it would be a good time to drop down to Bantamweight. If precedent has shown us anything, the WEC will probably give Faber a title shot after one win in his new weight class. The problem would be if Benavidez wins and becomes the new champ, Faber probably wouldn't face him since they are friends and teammates. So, does Faber want to see his teammate win and does he secretly want him to lose so he can get another shot at Cruz and a title.
More funbits and predictions after the jump...
Fighter in danger of getting cut: Danny Castillo. Losing your past two fights is definitely going to put you on the "getting cut" bubble. Losing a third fight in a row to someone making their WEC debut is going to garner a pink slip.
Hot WEC Prospect: Zach Micklewright. A 23 year old U.S. Marine with a 7-0 record that was the Glory Fighting Lightweight Champion and is also a product of the Miletich Fighting System.
Most interesting match-up in terms of style: Anthony Pettis vs. Shane Roller. On the one hand, you have Shane Roller who was a three-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University. On the other, you have Anthony Pettis who trains with the well-known kickboxing trainer Duke Roufus and is teammates with the likes of Pat Barry and Alan Belcher. Wrestler vs. striker anyone?
Don't blink fight: Dominick Cruz vs. Joseph Benavidez. Yeah, I am doubling up on this fight. It was my Fight of the Night pick and it's also my pick for Don't Blink Fight. These two have the ability to fight at a pace that would make Usain Bolt jealous and guess what? Neither one of them will looked remotely winded if this bout goes five rounds. Take what I just said and mix in the fact that there is bad blood between these two and there's a title on the line. Yeah, you got yourself a fight that can be over in a blink of your eye.
Do you think I am off with any of my picks? Let me know below.