When: Tonight 7:00 pm
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
So tonight’s fights are another episode of the UFC’s little brother…the WEC. The WEC has consistently put on incredibly entertaining fights that showcase lighter weight fighters from 135 lbs to 155 lbs. It is on FREE tonight on the Versus channel and begins at 7:00 pm. We have a sweet re-match between the current 135 lb Champion Dominick Cruz vs the number 1 contender at 135 lbs Joesph Benavidez. We also have Anthony Pettis vs Shane Roller, Chad Mendes vs Cub Swanson, Scotty Jorgensen vs Brad Pickett and finally rounding out the Main Card is Zack Micklewright taking on Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski. Let’s get right after it & see if we can break these down to see who takes the W’s tonight at 7:00.
Dominick Cruz vs. Joseph Benavidez
Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz is a former standout wrestler that not only holds an impressive 15-1 record, but also holds the current WEC 135 lb belt. He is known for his elusive footwork, insane cardio, in & out striking & a champion mindset. The Dominator is a stud in all aspects of MMA & this rematch with Benavidez will be just another showcase of just how nasty Cruz is. He will be looking to use his reach, stick & move Benavidez and keep Joe on the outside of his baffling striking attack. He has the gas to go full speed for 25 minutes EVERYTIME and always brings the fight to his opponents. He is a champion for good reason & will look to stifle Benavidez at every turn of this fight.
Joseph Benavidez is one of the pillars of Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male stable of MMA fighters. Just like Cruz, Joe also brings a stellar wrestling game, a really mean guillotine choke & very unorthodox set of dynamics into this fight. Benavidez certainly trains with one of the best “little-man” camps in the nation, and certainly is a very formidable opponent, but will his particular skill set have enough in it against a razor sharp champion like Cruz.
Examiner Picks: As tough as Benavides is, and as much of a great camp he trains with….I am picking Cruz to put on his best performance of his career & thoroughly dominate Benavidez with superior footwork, elusive striking and a great blend of takedown defense with heavy leg kicks. Dominick Cruz wins by unanimous decision.
Anthony Pettis vs. Shane Roller
Anthony Pettis is a dynamic young fighter based out of Milwaukee’s Roufus Sport camp. Pettis brings a well balanced record of 11-1 to tonight’s co-main event. He has piled up 5 wins by TKO, 5 wins by submission and a draw. His athletic striking game & his newly beefed up BJJ game has him feeling pretty good about facing the grinding 3X All-American wrestler from Oklahoma State. Pettis has looked pretty good lately with his greatly improving submission game, but being on your back with a monster like Roller is not a smart gameplan to me. Pettis should use his reach as well to strike & keep Roller from taking him down & putting him in bad spots throughout the evening.
Shane Roller is highly decorated wrestler from Oklahoma State University. Its no secret that his wrestling is his bread and butter going into fights, but he’s also been working hard on his BJJ game. His takedowns are virtually unstoppable & once he’s got you down…it’s a methodical beatdown for as long as it takes to get the W. Roller is on a tear and heading for big time title implications if he keeps this kind of pace up in the WEC.
Examiner Picks: As good of a fighter I think Pettis is, I think once Roller puts him on his back…it will be very difficult for Pettis to get anything going for offense. I think that Roller will be wise to the submission attempts of Pettis & the heavy ground n pound that Roller will administer will be decisive for Roller. Roller wins this by unanimous decision.
Chad Mendes vs. Cub Swanson
Chad Mendes is another Urijah Faber disciple on a meteoric rise to stardom at 145 lbs. This former 2X All-American wrestler out of Cal Poly is a stud in his early MMA career too. Tons of cardio, constantly improving striking, and a world class training team are all aspects that he’ll use tonight against the experienced Cub Swanson. Mendes’ only real criticism so far is his striking, but since we know that he is only improving quickly…I see that as being much better since his last outing.
Cub Swanson is a former soccer player that made the transition into MMA. Cub’s athleticism & experience are going to be very difficult for Mendes tonight, but Cub has also lost some fights that I think he should’ve won. We know that Mendes will be bringing it to Cub tonight, as pushing the action will be a big factor to beating Cub. The question is tonight whether Cub can avoid Mendes’ takedowns & avoid taking damage from the ground n pound that Mendes will dole out.
Examiner Picks: For me the jury is still way out on Swanson. I think he can make some noise, but I do feel that Mendes’ slow climb in the division is a very well controlled progression by his management. I also think that he has a better mind for MMA than Swanson & that always proves to be the dealbreaker. I am picking Mendes to dominate Swanson in a 3 round decision using his controlling top game.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Brad Pickett
Scott Jorgensen is one of my favorite up & coming MMA stars. His exciting & controlled craziness is a hellatious combination to deal with. This little dude seriously BRINGS IT & sets a pace that many cannot even believe…let alone deal with. Scotty’s wrestling, crisp fast hands & unlimited gas tank are problematic for literally everyone, and he’s also got that that catlike submission game if he needs to fall back on that.
Brad “1-Punch” Pickett is a British MMA fighter that can literally work as a stand in for a character in the movie “Snatch”. This Pikey look alike is nothing to sneeze at & has a wealth of experience in the fight game with American Top Team. He has a very solid BJJ game, but again, he will need to avoid a hellfire storm from the Tasmanian Devilish Jorgensen in order to be competitive. I think Pickett’s best chance is to catch Jorgensen coming in with short uppercut combinations without being taken down. If Jorgensen gets the takedown, which is inevitable, Picket will be planted on his back…and again…that is no place to be against the furious attacking of Scotty Jorgensen.
Examiner Picks: I see this one as Scotty Jorgensen putting on a clinic. He will display his full arsenal on Pickett’s limited weaponry. Scotty will outstrike, outhustle, outwrestle & finally submit the American Top Teamer in a one-sided mauling
Zach Micklewright vs. Bart Palaszewski
Zach Micklewright is an up & comer that has shown a good striking & wrestling game so far. He will try to keep Bartimus away by using good jabbing & footwork and avoiding Palaszewski’s inside clinch & suffocating style. At 7-0 and steadily improving, he will test his skills against the iron gatekeeper of the 155 lb class in the WEC.
Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski is a veteran journeyman of the cage with a very decent all-around game. He is one tough guy & can basically withstand all kinds of nasty punishment regardless of how it comes. I don’t think that Bartimus has what it takes to win a title at 155, but I do think that he can weed out contenders better than a kitchen strainer. He will do that here tonight too & supply the youngster with a steady diet of things to take back to the drawing board to work on for the next time.
Examiner Picks: Bartimus by submission in round 3.
As we all love….FREE fights on a Wednesday night is just like having a great relative over. Always a good show & highly entertaining…the WEC puts on fantastic fights everytime & tonight will be no different. We have come to expect really exciting fights that make for terrific debates from the WEC & they always deliver. If you love watching the little guys go at it…then tonight’s for you! Don’t forget to check it out tonight on Versus at 7:00 & let me know what you guys think of Scotty Jorgensen…he’s a show in himself!