Bowles breaks hand, Cruz wins title
Report by Brady Crytzer
After two furious rounds of action for the world bantamweight title 24 year old Dominick Cruz was awarded the victory when Brian Bowles was deemed unable to continue due to a broken hand after the conclusion of the second round.
Bowles swung for the fences early with hopes of capitalizing on his punching power. Though he was willing to trade, Cruz was caught early by the champion and appeared to be out of sync for some time. The challenger Cruz was the much busier man as he hopped around the cage and, after an exchange, appeared to have stunned the champion with a right hook. Bowles appeared puzzled by the footwork of the challenger and was taken down. Once back on their feet, the firefight continued until the bell.
Cruz continued his brilliant display of footwork in round two. Depsite being hurt in the first round, Bowles pressed forward in trademark fashion. Once he settled into the round Bowles claimed the center of the cage and looked to counterpunch. Cruz moved well around the champion and, after throwing a kick, was slammed with a hard right cross. In retaliation Cruz pressed forward with a three punch combination followed by a kick that sent Bowles to the canvas. Back on the feet Bowles landed a hard left hook but was hit with an identical combination. With time expiring Cruz put an exclamation point on the round by taking Bowles down.
However after the second round there was disappointing news from the corner of the champion. After the ringside physician examined the hand of Bowles, the fighter was deemed unable to continue making Cruz the new world bantamweight champion. Claiming that the break occurred “on the first punch of the fight,” Bowles appeared content with the decision.
Benavidez Breaks Out, Submits Torres
In the breakout performance of the night Joseph Benavidez submitted former champion Miguel Angel Torres in the first round with a guillotine choke.
Torres relinquished the center of the ring to start round one. As he circled on the outside, Torres waited to land a long range punch. When the former champion closed in Benavidez just missed with a looping right hand, but managed to put Torres on his back. In the top position Benavidez passed the guard of Torres and transitioned to side mount. With a guillotine choke on tap, Benavidez continued to work hard to keep Torres on the mat. After Torres regained guard, his opponent stood up and the men squared off at the bell.
Benavidez went on the warpath to begin round two as he winged wild punches at the head of his opponent. Looking to time a straight punch, Torres was quickly surprised with a lightening fast takedown. In the top position Benavidez slammed an elbow into Torres’ forehead and opened a large gash. Although it appeared that the fight could be stopped because of the cut, Benavidez took matters into his own hands and locked in a tight guillotine choke.
The former champion Torres tapped at 2:57 of the first round to the choke.
Vasquez Forces Tap from Pulver
In an impressive featherweight performance Javier Vazquez submitted Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver with a tight armbar in the opening round.
Vazquez came out on fire looking to take advantage of the weak chin of Pulver. Throwing wild punches, Vazquez clearly wanted to score a knockout courtesy of his opponent’s fading chin. Pulver showed good awareness pulling Vazquez to the mat and quickly reversed his position. After Pulver stood up to throw kicks, Vazquez sprung into a takedown and placed his opponent in the crucifix position. “Lil’ Evil” was outmatched by the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, and in a matter of seconds found himself deep in a tight armbar. Pulver quickly tapped but the damage appeared to already be done as his arm was badly hyper-extended.
The official time of the stoppage was 3:41 of the first round.
Davis Outworks Taurosevicius
Featherweight LC Davis outgunned Davidus Taurosevicius over three grueling rounds to win a majority decision.
Davis looked to score early with hard punches, but after missing several, elected to drive Taurosevicius into the cage. After some grappling against the fence, the men separated and Davis connected with a stiff right cross to the temple. With Taurosevicius stunned, Davis once again locked up with his opponent and landed short elbows and punches from inside the clinch. With seconds ticking away, Taurosevicius worked hard to take Davis down but found no success.
The men collided to begin round two and jockeyed for position against the cage. After a long struggle Taurosevicius scored a takedown and assumed the top position. Davis worked back to this feet and Taurosevicius charged forward with wild punches. After allowing himself to open up, Taurosevicius was forced to defend a takedown from Davis at the bell.
Round three saw the clinchfest continue as Taurosevicius utilized double underhooks against his opponent. After securing the takedown, Taurosevicius was placed on his back and utilized a defensive guard to force a stand up. Davis took advantage of the restart and landed a hard knee to the body. Time expired to a chorus of boos as the round closed in uneventful fashion.
Judges’ scorecards read in favor of 29-29, and 29-28 twice in favor of LC Davis.
Palaszewski Rallies, Subs Darabedyan
In a fierce 145 lb. bout, former IFL standout Bart Palaszewski submitted up and comer Kara Darabedyan in the first round with a tight armbar.
Darabedyan exploded on Palaszewski early in the fight by landing a hard combination of shots against the cage. After taking him to the mat, Darabedyan landed hard bombs on the former IFL standout from the top position. Although Palaszewski was threatening with armbars, Darabedyan was tenacious in his ground n’ pound attack.
Suddenly in a flash Palaszewski locked in a tight armbar on the surprised Darabedyan. Although he struggled for several seconds, Darabedyan could not escape the hold and was forced to tap at 4:40 of the first round.
Undercard Action: Pettis, Jorgensen Steal Show
Featherweight Scott Jorgensen submitted Chad George with a wrenching guillotine choke just :31 seconds into the fight. The choke was so deep that Jorgensen actually hoisted George into the air with the hold in place.
In the KO of the night, Anthony Pettis made quick work of Danny Castillo by knocking him unconscious with a wicked left kick to the head. The official time of the KO was 2:17 of the first round.
Chad Mendes scored a three round unanimous decision over Eric Koch. Scores for the featherweight bout read 30-27.
Former featherweight title challenger Leonard Garcia and UFC veteran George Roop battled for three rounds en route to a split draw. Scorecards read 29-27 for Roop, 29-27 for Garcia, and 28-28.
Featherweight Fredson Paixao submitted Courtney Buck with a tight rear naked choke at 2:39 of the opening round.
Lightweight Ricardo Lamas kicked things off with a bang knocking out Bendy Casimir with a knee at 3:43 of the first round.