How a fighter as talented and explosive as WEC bantamweight Brian Bowles has gotten used to being the underdog during his career in the WEC is beyond me, but as this undefeated finishing machine told FiveOuncesOfPain.com in the days leading up to the biggest fight of his 29 years on this earth, it’s a role he relishes.
Good for Brian, because the man he is set to butt heads with this Sunday evening in Las Vegas at WEC 42 is widely regarded to be one of the very best pound for pound fighters walking the planet in Miguel Torres. But hey, according to Bowles there’s no pressure on his side of things. He’s not expected to win. Things can only get better.
“I’ve always done well as the underdog,” admitted Bowles. “I’ve always been the underdog in the WEC. It seems like every fight I’ve fought in the WEC I’ve been picked as the underdog, and I haven’t lost yet. Another thing about being the underdog is that there’s really not that much pressure on because if I lose, you’re supposed to beat me. Of course if I beat him I surprise everybody, so it kind of takes a lot of the pressure off.”
The native of Athens, Georgia doesn’t feel too bad about not being favored to win. It’s Miguel Torres we’re talking about here. The man is as close to a super-hero as it gets in this world. The Carlson Gracie Jr. black belt has lost just once in a career spanning close to forty fights (a decision loss he avenged by first round armbar), and hasn’t dropped a single bout in his last seventeen bouts spanning well over five years against the toughest competition possible.
That’s okay with Bowles, underdog or not Torres has never faced anyone as dangerous as him, and there’s not a man alive that’s immune to mortality.
“I think everyone he has face has been looked over,” explained Bowles. “He’s been a really dominant champion but he has never faced anyone like me yet. I think I’m his biggest threat so far. I’m the guy that has fought my way up to him. Most of the guys, like Mizugaki just came right in and got the shot. I think people are going to be really surprised. I think a lot of those other guys have put up really good showings against him. I mean Yoshiro Maeda and Takeya Mizugaki both fought him really well. I think I’m going to surprise people. It’s definitely going to be a good showing either way.”
Bowles is coming into the cage on Sunday night to inflict pain and leave with a championship belt. There’s two ways about it. Just don’t expect anything but respect from Brian in regards to the current WEC bantamweight champion.
“Miguel is really well rounded and he brings his fight to the opponent,” said the Hardcore Gym trained brawler. “He’s defended the belt well. He makes no excuses, he just performs.
“He’s been a really great champion. I’m just glad that I have the opportunity to beat him. I think I can take that role as the best 135 pound fighter that he has. It’s the second best guy against the number one guy, I think it’s going to be a really big fight for the WEC. I don’t think they have that a lot.”
Of course all of that respect goes flying out the window once that cage door slams. Don’t confuse Bowles’ respect for fear; he’s going to bring it to Torres, leave nothing in the cage, and make no excuses afterwords.
“You can’t be intimidated by him,” said Bowles. “He’s going to go out there and bring the fight to you, and you just have to do the same to him. You just can’t be afraid of him.”
First off, anyone that has seen Bowles fight will freely admit that the he carries the type of dynamite in his fists that is seldom seen from men weighing under 150 pounds. Quite frankly, if Bowles clips you it’s going to be a problem. Torres is no exception to the rule.
“I think my punching power is something that has just come natural to me,” explained Bowles. “I’ve always enjoyed the stand-up. It’s not something that I’ve really worked on. It’s just something that has come to me naturally.
“Here lately, the hardest hitter I’ve seen him go up against was Takeya Mizugaki. Other than that I haven’t really seen he’s been in there with that hits like I do.”
You’re not going to beat a champion like Torres with heavy hands alone; Something Brian is well aware of going into WEC 42. He’s far from a one-trick pony in this fight game.
“I think my wrestling is going to allow me to dictate where the fight ends up,” revealed Bowles. “I definitely don’t see him shooting on me and taking me down. I think the wrestling will definitely play to my advantage, but I think the overall skills, and the fact that I’m really well-rounded is going to give him some problems.”
Not once has Bowles been pushed to the scorecards in his professional fighting career. So one way or another this one ends early, right? Not so fast. According to the anxious title challenger anything could happen in what promises to be a wild fight, and he’s prepared for anything.
“It’s a good possibility I’ll go the distance for the first time,” confessed Bowles. “He’s been in some decisions. This is going to be my toughest challenge so far so maybe I’ll make it to a decision with him. There’s really no telling where this fight could go. It could be a knockout or a submission, you just can’t really tell exactly how this fight is going to turn out. I’m ready to do whatever it takes.”