Herewith five things we learned from Saturday night's WEC 47 in Columbus, Ohio:
This wasn't blind belief. This came out of the dirt.
Every day Cruz could work on being the best, he did. Hard. And it paid off beautifully when he danced around
True to his nickname, Cruz (15-1) dominated every facet of the fight, which ended after two rounds when an Ohio ringside physician called it because of Bowles' broken right hand. Bowles (8-1) said afterwards the fracture cost him his focus and, as such, he couldn't in gear. It was an honest and rare admission of mental failure from a fighter. But that isn't the reason he was countered with right hooks or slammed repeatedly in the thighs. That was because he was facing Cruz, a wrestler whose speed, footwork, movement, pace and rhythm make him one of the most unique and effective strikers in MMA.
"He really caught on to footwork right away," said
Saturday night, Cruz moved like his dancing inspirations
Two competitive guys in their mid-20s, in peak form, with differing styles that rely on quickness. Umm, yeah. Cruz and Benavidez -- a training partner of
No more wishing for extra rounds.
It took some time to sort out, and there's still room to grow, but the bantamweight division is quickly becoming one of MMA's best.
Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe has asserted itself as one of the best fight factories in the states. Arizona State wrestling has turned into a breeding ground for pro fighters.
From the land of
Judging by the emotion in his voice and the tone of his sentiments, we're done seeing Jens Pulver (22-13-1) lace up four-ounce gloves. At least for a while. Pulver is mixed martial arts' first great lightweight. He won the UFC belt on
Time worked its magic and Pulver, now, is 35 and a loser in seven of his last eight fights, the last four in the opening round. I don't doubt he'll fight again. At some point his heart, the thing that really made Pulver special -- both in the cage and out -- will churn up enough dander that he has to get out there again. But as a professional fighter Saturday night, he acknowledged he doesn't have it anymore. And, essentially, that's the same thing.
"Lil Evil" -- a nickname that worked and didn't work at the same time -- should have a great future in color commentary. The sport needs great voices on television to tell the audience what's happening. So long as he does it with impartiality, he'll be great.
I wasn't exciting enough. I'm sorry.
I didn't stand and bang. I'm sorry.
I just pulled a come-from-behind armbar on a tough-as-nails Armenian guy. I'm sorry.
No Bart, you didn't. None of you guys do. Stop it.