Brian Bowles (file photo) submitted Damacio Page for the second time on Thursday. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Brian Bowles showed no signs of ring rust or Octagon jitters on Thursday night, as the former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion easily disposed of Damacio Page in their main card bout at UFC Live 3.
“I was worried there was going to be some ring rust when I got out there, but there wasn’t,” Bowles told Sherdog.com after his win. “I was doing things in the gym to make sure that didn’t happen, and when I got out there, it all came together. I felt great.”
The bout, which went down at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., was a rematch of an August 2008 encounter between the two 135-pounders. In their first fight, Bowles submitted Page with a guillotine choke at 3:30 of the opening round. The rematch was a carbon copy, as Bowles ended the fight at the exact same time and in the exact same fashion.
Returning from a year-long layoff for his UFC debut, Bowles weathered an early storm from Page and seized his opening when it became available.
“He opens like that all the time. That was my game plan, because he always comes out hard with some anger. So I just wanted to stay calm and get through that,” said Bowles. “I felt like I was even winning those exchanges. I don’t have a bruise on my face. I just wanted to let him burn out his energy, and I knew that, if the fight went longer, that I would be able to outlast him if he was going to keep fighting like that.”
According to the former champion, he used his long injury layoff to his advantage, working diligently to improve his technique.
“I was working on my footwork and trying to get my jab better. And I’m just trying to not be a power puncher. I keep breaking my hands, so I’m trying to be more of a speed puncher,” said Bowles. “I’m trying to be more accurate and not be a brawler, and just go out there and try to knock people out.”
Following his composed performance against the dangerous Page, the 30-year-old now has a stacked bantamweight division with which to contend. While a rematch with fellow ex-champ Miguel Torres seems a logical next fight, Bowles would prefer to lock horns with some new blood.
“I really don’t want to go down the same road of just fighting everybody I’ve already fought. But [I’ll fight] whoever. If they match me up with [Torres], that’s cool. But I’d rather fight somebody new. I just fought somebody who I’ve already fought, you know? I’d really rather just do something different.”