Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
In what should be an exciting fight at UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans, former WEC Bantamweight champion Miguel Torres (40-4; 2-1 UFC) faces Michael McDonald (14-1; 3-0 UFC). This Bantamweight fight is the third of six fights on the main PPV card. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Torres ranked as the #6 Bantamweight in the world, with McDonald just below him at #8. The PPV card begins Saturday, April 21 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
While Torres may have more name recognition to many fans, this is a very well put together and even match-up. It's always nice to see two fighters so close in the rankings meet up, and these two compliment each other's skills nicely. It's also to some degree an example of the classic old guard vs. new guard match. Torres seems to be settling into a high-end gatekeeper kind of role, while McDonald is an exciting young prospect looking to break through into the upper echelon. This fight should tell us quite a lot about where each man stands.
How do these two stack up?
Torres: 31 years old | 5'9" | 76" reach
McDonald: 21 years old | 5'8" | 70" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Miguel Torres is the former WEC Bantamweight champion. During his title run there, from 2008 through early 2009, he was considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world. But since his 2009 title loss to Brian Bowles, he's struggled to find his footing, going 3-2 since that loss. He's also worked on reinventing himself as a more tactical fighter, to mixed results. Where does he sit in the Bantamweight division today? He's still clearly near the top, but his days as a title contender may be done. As I said, he's sliding into the veteran gatekeeper role - those who defeat him (Johnson, Benavidez) move on to title shots. Could that be McDonald's fate?
Michael "Mayday" McDonald came up through the California scene. He had one fight (a win over Clint Godfrey) in the WEC before it merged with the UFC. He's now on an impressive 7 fight win streak that includes a KO of the Night performance in his last fight against Soto. McDonald is gaining momentum, but he hasn't yet had that signature break-out moment. This could certainly be a coming out party for him, but it's also a decided step up in competition for the 21 year old.
Why should you care?
Veteran vs. young lion fights always get me interested, plus these are two incredibly exciting fighters. And, while he ha lost a step, I'm still a huge Torres mark, what can I say?
More UFC 145 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.