Primer: WEC 42

By Jake Rossen Aug 9, 2009
As far as the WEC is concerned, the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter isn’t aligned with Strikeforce and isn’t the product of a Cold War laboratory: he’s Miguel Torres, and he fights Sunday against a man who could be his very violent equal.

The 135 lb. Torres has gone largely unchallenged since taking the WEC’s bantamweight belt in February of 2008. He’s defended it three times, has lost only once in his career, and has used much of his athletic prime learning trade skills instead of proper benching form.

Opponent Brian Bowles has only been fighting for three years to Torres’ nine; he holds a perfect finishing record (7-0), is equally self-assured, and does not appear to be at all intimidated by Torres’ relative celebrity or reputation. There are no real guarantees in prizefighting, but the only way this fight would be anticlimactic is if someone forgets to wear a cup.

What: World Extreme Cagefighting 42: Torres vs. Bowles, an 11-bout card from The Joint -- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When: Sunday, August 9 at 9 PM ET on Versus

Why You Should Care: Because Miguel Torres will be considered an all-time great one day -- if not already -- and you should be able to say you used to watch him fight; because Joseph Benavidez and Dominick Cruz could determine who’s next in line for Torres or Bowles’ title; because the returning Javier Vazquez is as good a grappler at 145 lbs. as anyone on the planet.

Fight of the Night: Torres/Bowles, which may not be the most exciting of the night -- and that’s saying something about the WEC’s talent pool -- but has enough resonance with Torres’ current role as a serial killer to put it over the top.

Sleeper Fight of the Night: Rani Yahya vs. John Hosman, with Yahya’s tight submission game and eccentric stand-up meshing nicely with Hosman’s better hands and wrestling, sharpened by Clay Guida madman-style training.

Pre-Emptive Complaint: Free, good fights. Sorry. Got nothin’.

Hype Quote of the Show: “I said, ‘No, I want someone to hit me.’ It's the macho thing. And [Mark DellaGrotte] said, ‘You know what you need? I'm going to help you.’ And he hugged me. At first, I said, ‘Let go of me, man.’ But he just kept hugging me. It was kind of funny, but I did need a hug. No one ever gave me a hug before.” -- Torres, to Yahoo’s Maggie Hendricks
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