BANTAMWEIGHT RANKINGS (126 lbs. – 135 lbs.)
- Dominick Cruz (15-1 / WEC Bantamweight Champion)
- Joseph Benavidez (12-1 / WEC)
- Brian Bowles (8-1 / WEC)
- Scott Jorgensen (10-3 / WEC)
- Miguel Torres (37-3 / WEC)
- Wagnney Fabiano (14-2 / WEC)
- Takeya Mizugaki (13-4-2 / WEC)
- Cole Escovedo (16-4 / DREAM)
- Nick Mamalis (10-4 / Bellator)
- Eddie Wineland (17-6-1 / WEC)
A little over a year will have passed between the last meeting between Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez and their rematch on August 18th. This time it’s for the title, and I honestly think that’s going to be the only difference. I expect another unanimous decision victory in that one, as Cruz establishes himself as the next dominant champion at 135.
Brian Bowles sits comfortably at #3 in the division, but his performance against Cruz raised a lot of questions as to his shelf life. Who – and where – is his next opponent? And can he bounce back?
Scott Jorgensen and Miguel Torres are, in my mind, on an inevitable collision course. Jorgensen is rallying back hard after a few setbacks, while Torres has gone from dominating the division to fighting to keep himself relevant.
Takeya Mizugaki has provided some of the best fights in WEC history, and his matchup against Urijah Faber (marking his debut at Bantamweight) should be no different. I don’t know how WEC sees it, but I think it’s a win-win situation for Mizugaki. If he loses, he loses to a fighter who is a legend at a higher (and some would say tougher) weight class. If he wins, he’s beaten a tough opponent and inched himself closer to another shot at the title.
The best Cole Escovedo can do in Japan is prove he belongs in the WEC. He’s done that. It’s time for him to make the move Stateside.