This Saturday’s WEC 47 card presents a bantamweight title fight between two guys who have more similarities than differences. Champion Brian Bowles and challenger Dominick Cruz both came from underprivileged backgrounds, but put their lives on an upward trajectory thanks to athletic competition, specifically wrestling. Both are undefeated at 135 pounds, and have dominated their opponents with a relentless, well-rounded attack. Cruz says this matchup is one of "power vs. speed," but both competitors bring plenty of each. The only real difference is their finishing percentage. While Bowles has stopped all eight of his professional fights, Cruz has gone the distance on his last four (scoring unanimous nods on all of them).
Bowles’s shock upset of Miguel Torres last August reminded us of another changing-of-the-guard in the WEC: Mike Brown‘s dethroning of Urijah Faber in 2008. In both cases, the challengers used solid fundamentals and raw power to overcome flashier, risk-taking champions. But as Mike Brown himself learned, it isn’t easy to hang on to the belt when there’s always another younger, hungrier challenger coming up behind you. Could this be the year that Dominick Cruz breaks out?