Cageside by Anthony Springer Jr. & Andreas Hale
WEC 135 lb pound champion Dominick Cruz made his first defense a successful one by defeating challenger Joseph Benavidez via five-round split decision. Cruz controlled the fight and used his natural reach advantage by showing slick head movement and throwing long distance punches. Though Benavidez was the better wrestler, Cruz proved to be the better man by stopping his opponent’s takedowns and using strong slams to control from the top position thoughout the fight. Scorecards read 48-47 and 49-46 in favor of Cruz, while Benavidez received a score of 48-47 on the other.
Top lightweight contender Anthony Pettis submitted world class wrestler Shane Roller with just :09 seconds remaining in their three round bout with a triangle choke. The tap came at 4:51 of the third and final round.
In a showdown of young hopefuls featherweight Chad “Money” Mendes defeated Cub Swanson via unanimous decision. Scorecards read 29-28 twice and 30-27.
In a 155 lb. showdown Scott Jorgensen defeated Brad Pickett via unanimous decision. Scores all read the same, 30-27.
Lightweight Bart Palaszewski stopped Zachary Micklewright via TKO in the second round. The fight-ending overhand right came just :31 seconds into round two. Maciej Jewtuszko made scored one of the knockouts of the night after flattening fellow striking ace Anthony Njokuani with a blistering right uppercut at just 1:36 of the opening round. MMA lightweight veteran Javier Vazquez submitted Mackens Semerzier with a tight rear naked choke at 1:32 of the second round. Ricardo Lamas defeated Dave Jansen via unanimous decision. Scores all read the same, 29-28. Fredson Paixao defeated Bryan Caraway by split decision. Scorecards all read 29-28, twice in favor of Paixao. Danny Castillo defeated Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision. Scores read 30-27 twice and 29-28 in favor of Castillo.