WEC 42's main event will pit USA Today/SBN Consensus Rankings #1 ranked Bantamweight and WEC Bantamweight champion Miguel Torres (37-1) against #2 ranked challenger Brian Bowles (7-0). Torres is coming off an epic clash with Japanese import Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 40 while Bowles is coming into this bout after submitting Will Ribeiro at WEC 37. He was scheduled to face Torres at WEC 40, but had to pull out due to injury. Not only will this bout be for the bantamweight crown, the war of words brewing between both fighters has definitely created a little hype for this match-up.
Miguel Torres has one of the most impressive records in MMA at 37 wins and only one loss. He's on a current streak of 16 wins which include victories over Chase Beebe, Yoshiro Maeda, Manny Tapia, and Takeya Mizugaki. His career stretches nine years, and he's only recently began to get acclaim from the MMA community as potentially being the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
Torres skill-set revolves around two basic skills that he does better than almost any bantamweight in the sport. He has very good boxing skills with short, peppering shots coupled with solid counters. He likes to beat up on opponents with a substantial quantity of blows, and he's made it known that he doesn't mind to brawl with opponents to prove his mettle. His Brazilian jiu-jitsu is at black belt status under Carlson Gracie, and he has one of the most active guards in all of MMA. He damages opponents from his back while also putting them in danger of being submitted constantly. He can easily overwhelm opponents in both the stand-up and ground game.
Bowles is going to have to be ready for everything in this match-up. He has solid striking skills as he did stand with former Brazilian Olympic Boxing Team member Will Ribeiro. He also managed to submit Ribeiro, who was also a brown belt in jiu-jitsu. He also managed to defeat BJJ black belt Marcos Galvao and Greg Jackson-trained Damacio Page, both solid wins.
Bowles trains out of Hardcore Gym in Athens, GA, and he did spend two weeks down at ATT in preparation for this bout. He brought Micah Miller up from ATT to help train as well, and his regular training partners consist of Jeff Bedard, Stephen Ledbetter, and Chad Shaffer. Interestingly enough, Torres defeated Bedard at WEC 30 via triangle choke in the first round.
Bowles has made it public that his boxing and wrestling are going to be a major problem for Torres in this fight. He also thinks that Torres' experience is a disadvantage because Torres is likely getting physically tired with so many fights under his belt. Torres has shot back with comments regarding how he's seen all the gameplans before, and how Bowles simply comes forward with huge punches. It's definitely added a little hype to this fight.
Torres has the advantage in all areas of this fight. His boxing is better than anything Bowles can muster, and my general thought on Bowles is that he's way too wild in the stand-up department. He throws huge bombs with both hands, and he leaves his chin a bit high in the pocket as well. If anyone is going to exploit those problems, Torres will. In fact, ask Manny Tapia what happens when you're aggressive coming out the gate with big blows. Bowles has a shot, but I think Torres will ultimately catch Bowles in a stand-up war.
As for Bowles on the floor, I love Torres' active guard. He can throw submission after submission and completely nullify any fighter's activity in top control. Bowles may believe he can work a wrestling game, but it'll be a surprise to me if he can. Bowles will want to stay away from Torres' length on the floor.
Overall, I don't see any real advantage for Brian Bowles. I think he has a puncher's chance in this battle, but he could impress us with some boxing skills. He did manage to defeat Ribeiro, but I think Torres is just a whole different ballgame for Bowles.
Brian Bowles (51 votes)
Miguel Torres (324 votes)
375 total votes