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Feb 21st
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Home MMA Torres vs. Bowles This Sunday
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Torres vs. Bowles This Sunday


 Although overshadowed this weekend by its elder cousin, the UFC, WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles promises to be one of the better MMA events of the summer. The bantamweight title will be on the line when undisputed bantamweight champion and WEC superstar Miguel Torres takes on number one contender Brian Bowles. The fight was originally scheduled for WEC 40, but due to a back injury sustained by Bowles he was replaced. Despite his lack of experience, Bowles is considered to be one of Torres’ toughest opponents. Jeff Curan and Takeya Mizugaki are also on the card as they look to rebound after tough losses and two up and comers, Joseph Benavidez and Dominick Cruz, face off to see who will receive the next bantamweight title shot.

Miguel Torres is not only the WEC bantamweight champion, many consider him to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Torres hasn’t lost since 2004, including a string of 3 title defences in the WEC. Hiss last defence against Takeya Mizugaki was a unanimous decision in which he displayed improved boxing and muay thai striking. Following the fight, Torres called out Bowles, securing the bout for WEC 42. “Brian thinks that he’s going to show me something I haven’t seen a different look or a game plan that I haven’t seen yet,” says Torres. “I’ve had guys try to beat me for my whole career with game plans or try to figure that they’re stronger than me or they’re going to have a great strategy, but you know I’ve never seen one implemented yet, one that’s been able to work.”

Torres is the obvious favourite, but Bowles shouldn’t be counted out. The fighter from Georgia is currently undefeated, including 4 victories in the WEC. His most impressive victory came against Marcos Galvao, when he knocked out the Shooto veteran in the second round. He followed that up with submission victories Demacio Page and Will Ribeiro. His first title shot against Torres had to be called off, so it goes with out saying that Bowles is anxiously awaiting this match up. He has not been at all shy about his prediction for the fight. His claim that he will not knock the champ out has certainly gotten under Torres’ skin. “Most of the people he fought are not (as) rounded as me,” says Bowles. “And you know, I think I am bigger and more powerful than the guys that he’s fought so far.”

Bowles is being billed as a legitimate challenger, but with only 7 wins under his belt it’s tough to think he’s ready to dethrone someone of Torres’ calibre. Bowles is a good fighter, but he’s just not ready yet. Don’t bet on this one going the distance and expect Torres to once again defend his bantamweight title.

Jeff Curan and Takeya Mizugaki will both be looking to make comebacks after devastating losses. Curan is coming off three losses so another loss at the hands of Mizugaki could mean the end of his WEC career. He has been participating in MMA events since 1998, including fights in WEC, PRIDE, and the UFC.  Curan won his first fight back in the WEC after a 5 year absence from the organization, earning him a shot at then featherweight champ Urijah Faber. Curran was submitted in his title shot and then went on to lose unanimous decisions against current featherweight champion Mike Brown as well as Joseph Benavidez. His current three fight losing streak is the longest of his career.

Mizugaki recently had his 5 fight winning streak snapped by bantamweight king Miguel Torres. He’ll be looking to rebound with a win against the MMA vet to get himself back into title contention. Mizugaki began his career in Shooto where he won his first 6 fights while winning Shooto rookie of the year.

Don’t read too far into Curan’s 3 fight losing streak. All those losses came against very tough competition and Curan is by no means done at only 31 years of age. This should be a close one but look for the cagy vet to return to his winning ways.

Two up and coming fighters, Joseph Benavidez and Dominick Cruz, collide to determine who will get the next shot at the Bantamweight title. Benavidez has drawn comparisons in fighting style to WEC superstar Urijah Faber. After fighting in numerous small events, Benavidez finally got his shot in the big leagues, earning a spot on the DREAM 5 card. He went on to win his fight with Junya Kuno, earning him a contract with the WEC where he’s currently undefeated in two fights. His most recent fight saw him dominate seasoned veteran Jeff Curan from start to finish to earn him a unanimous decision.

His opponent Cruz will be entering the WEC octagon for the fifth time. His only loss came in his WEC debut where he fought for the featherweight title. Since then he’s strung together 4 wins and hopes to get another title shot, this time in the bantamweight division.

Both fighters have a bright future ahead of them. This is a tough fight to call and could really go either way, but Benavidez’s dominating victory over Curan at WEC 40 suggests that he’s the one more ready to take the next step.

Other notable fights on the card include Ricardo Lamas vs. Danny Castillo and Leonard Garcia vs. Jameel Massouh.



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