by Dann Stupp
After recently announcing Miguel Torres (37-2 MMA, 5-1 WEC) and Jens Pulver (22-12 MMA, 1-4 WEC) will return at WEC 47 in March, World Extreme Cagefighting officials today confirmed their respective opponents: Joseph Benavidez (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Javier Vazquez (13-4 MMA, 0-2 WEC).
MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com
) first reported both of the matchups last month.
WEC 47 takes place March 6 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with a Versus-televised headliner of WEC bantamweight champ Brian Bowles vs. Dominick Cruz.
The event marks the WEC's debut in Ohio, which regulates more MMA shows per year than other state in the U.S.
Torres, whose legendary 17-fight win streak came to an end when Bowles took his title in August, fights for the first time since that championship loss. The defeat also snapped his five-fight win streak in the WEC and marked the first time he had ever been stopped by an opponent.
Although stopping short of confirming the plans, WEC officials recently told MMAjunkie.com that Torres could earn a title shot if he beats Benavidez.
Of course, Benavidez could also earn title consideration if he pulls off the win. The fighter, who recently rebounded from his first career loss (via decision to Cruz at WEC 42 in August) with an impressive first-round knockout of Rani Yahya at WEC 45, also owns WEC victories over Jeff Curran and Danny Martinez.
Meanwhile, Pulver, a former UFC champion, essentially announced his retirement following a June 2009 loss to Josh Grispi. It was his sixth loss in seventh fights, which came in both the UFC and WEC. And though his career looked over, WEC General Manager Reed Harris told MMAjunkie.com Radio last month that Pulver had decided to make a return to the cage.
His opponent, Vazquez, looks to rebound from a pair of recent razor-thin split-decision losses to fellow featherweights Deividas Taurosevicius and L.C. Davis. Prior to the defeats, "Showtime," who's posted nine stoppages in 13 career victories, had posted a four-fight win streak, which included a pair of wins in the now-defunct EliteXC organization.