Benavidez-Fabiano Official for WEC 52


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Joseph Benavidez file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com

Former WEC bantamweight title challenger Joseph Benavidez will step in for an injured Brian Bowles to face Wagnney Fabiano at WEC 52, which is scheduled for Nov. 11 in Las Vegas.

The WEC announced Benavidez as Fabiano's new opponent Monday on its Web site. Sherdog.com first reported Benavidez as a possible replacement last week.

Bowles -- a former WEC 135-pound champ who lost his title to Dominick Cruz in March -- was forced to bow out of the bout due to a broken foot suffered in training last week.

Benavidez is coming off a split-decision loss to Cruz at WEC 50 in August and the Team Alpha Male product has 10 finishes (three knockouts, seven submissions) among his 12 professional mixed martial arts wins. Both of Benavidez's career losses came at the hands of Cruz and he holds victories over former WEC champion Miguel Torres, Rani Yahya, Jeff Curran and Danny Martinez.

A featherweight champ during his time with the IFL, Fabiano -- a member of Team Nova Uniao -- moved down to bantamweight earlier this year and is currently 2-0 at 135 pounds. Fabiano is 4-1 during his time in the WEC and has nine finishes (two knockouts, seven submissions) among his 14 victories. His resume includes wins over such notable names as Bao Quach, John Gunderson, L.C. Davis, Akitoshi Tamura and Fredson Paixao.

WEC 52 features a main event between former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber and Takeya Mizugaki in Faber's first bout at 135 pounds. Also, Josh Grispi could get one step closer to a shot at 145-pound king Jose Aldo if he can get past Erik Koch in a featured bout.

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