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August 27, 2014

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World Extreme Cagefighting:

Bowles, Torres title match finally arrives

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Justin M. Bowen

Brian Bowles, WEC Bantamweight contender, workouts for the media Thursday at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino.

WEC Workouts

Miguel Angel Torres, WEC Bantamweight Champion, workouts for the media Thursday at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino. Launch slideshow »

World Extreme Cagefighting has its dream matchup at long last.

After one postponement and nearly a year of anticipation, WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres will finally put his title up for grabs against Brian Bowles at WEC 42 Sunday night at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

"I'm just glad it's here," Bowles said. "I'm ready. It's going to be a good fight. I'm tired of waiting for it to come."

Torres and Bowles were supposed to square off at WEC 40 in Chicago in April, but Bowles had to withdraw due to a back injury. Takeya Mizugaki filled in, but lost to Torres in a five-round decision.

Following months of physical therapy and rehabilitation, Bowles said he is prepared to take on the heavily favored Torres.

"This is nothing new to me," said Bowles, a former police officer and current Pepsi sales rep. "I am fighting for the world title, but I'm not nervous."

Confidence can only take Bowles so far, though.

Although Bowles is 7-0 with his last two WEC victories coming via submission over Will Ribeiro and Damacio Page, Torres is one of the most experienced bantamweight fighters in the world.

Torres is a staggering 37-1, winning his last 17 consecutive matches. The 28-year-old East Chicago native hasn't lost in six years.

"Bowles will come out with big right hands and left hooks and he's going to try to push the clinch, but the clinch is my game," Torres said. "I don't care who the guy is, my clinch game is solid. If he takes me down, that's his disadvantage. I have a very active guard and I'm very dangerous on the ground."

Even after successfully defending his title three times, Torres said he is still motivated to silence any contenders who think they can steal his championship.

To prepare for Sunday's main event, Torres hung a picture of Bowles on the wall in his house to focus on his target.

"I look at him everyday," Torres said. "I think if anything it's a disadvantage to him because he's been off for so long. He's coming to fight me at the peak of my game."

Bowles, a much more reserved speaker, didn't hesitate to fire back at Torres, though.

"I don't need any more motivation," Bowles said. "I've got a picture in my head. I know what I have to do. I don't need a picture on the wall to remind me what I'm after."

The war of words is just one day from ending and the winner will most likely defend that title against the winner of the undercard bout between Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez.

"A lot of guys are gunning for me, but I'm keeping this title," Torres said.

Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or [email protected].

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