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WEC Preview: Brian Bowles vs. Dominick Cruz

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Here is the thing about Brian Bowles: he's one of the most underrated fighters in the sport. The guy just goes out there and delivers at any level he's competed at. Not only that, but he's a great representative of MMA in this region. While states like NC , SC and Virginia are quickly improving their depth of talented MMA prospects, Florida and Georgia were the early standard bearers for MMA in the southeast. Besides notables like Forrest Griffin, Todd Duffee and others, GA has also given us a dynamic fighter in the 29-year-ol dBrian Bowles. Miguel Torres is one of the sport's most talented fighters and Brian fought an outstanding fight against him, catching the former WEC champ and winning the top spot in the world amongst 135 pound fighters. And the scariest thing? No one has yet been able to go three full rounds with Bowles, who has decimated the WEC bantamweight division. Jose Aldo is indeed nasty. Urijah Faber, Mike Brown and Miguel Torres are all top notch guys. But Bowles is that guy that is quickly making a case to be considered amongst the very top pound for pound guys in the world. Brian Bowles has a professional record of 8-0 with 3 wins coming by way of knockout and 5 wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced so far is 65.8%.

Dominick Cruz just seems to keep winning. He's gone 5-0 in his past five WEC fights and has bounced back extremely well from a first round loss to former featherweight champion Urijah Faber nearly three years ago. 135 pounds seems to be a good fit for Cruz and his career definitely seems to have been managed well, putting him in progressively challenging fights when necessary but not rushing him along. This 24-year-old won a spirited decision over fellow Californian Joseph Benavidez last August and placed himself at the head of the line to challenge the newly crowned bantamweight champion. Dominick Cruz has a professional record of 14-1 with 5 wins coming by way of knockout and 1 win coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced so far is 64.6%.

This should be an entertaining fight and is a great main event. Dominick does a lot of things well and should come out confident and showing a lot of lateral movement. Ultimately, though, I think that Bowles is just too strong for Dominick over five rounds. Not only do I think that he hits harder but I also think that he is more likely to sink a submission. I see a close first round in this one with Bowles starting to score more in the second round. By the end of the third I think that Bowles catches Cruz with some nasty ground and pound punches or elbows, successfully defending his world championship and putting another impressive victory in the books for Hardcore Gym in Athens, Georgia. How do you see this one going down?