Heading into Sunday night there was no question that Miguel Torres was the top bantamweight in the world, and possibly one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, but top contender Brian Bowles decided that it was time for the champion's streak to end, as he blasted his way to a first round TKO win to claim the 135-pound divisional title at WEC 42.
It was apparent in the early going that Bowles respected Torres, but that he wasn't planning on backing down. He clipped the champion with a big punch that sent him backwards against the cage, as the two winged shots at each other in the opening minutes.
Bowles tried to work a ground attack, but Torres used his jiu-jitsu skills to keep his opponent's power at bay, working his way out and back up to the feet.
With both fighters throwing heavy leather, it was Torres who caught Bowles with a shot and as he came in with a flurry of punches, Bowles shifted gears and caught Torres with a short right hook that sent him crashing to the mat.
"He had me rattled there pretty bad. I kind of recovered. I seen him coming in real hard, and I just swung a good hook," Bowles said about the shot that led to the end of the fight. "Hit him right on the jaw."
As Torres dropped, Bowles instinctively jumped in with a barrage of punches, including a right hand that seemed to daze the champion, followed by a hard left that put Torres out for good.
Brian Bowles celebrated as he stays undefeated and now becomes the WEC bantamweight champion, and undoubtedly the top 135-pound fighter worldwide.
"I was just confident that I could win. I convinced myself that I could beat him, and I just stayed calm and I think other people get caught up in the hype with him or (are) afraid of him. I just wasn't worried about it. I put all that to the side," Bowles said about the victory.
As the WEC continues to grow the 135-pound weight class, it would appear Dominic Cruz is next on deck to take a stab at the title, but Bowles is ready for all challengers.
"It's what I'm here to do. I wanted this belt, I got it, I earned it, I want to keep on defending it," Bowles stated in closing.