Brian Bowles is the WEC Bantamweight #1 contender

The management of Brian Bowles’ (7-0) has confirmed with PRO MMA ( that due to a back injury incurred while training at ATT in Florida, the WEC top bantamweight contender has pulled out of his fight with champion Miguel Torres (35-1) set for WEC 40 on April 5th. 

The WEC has already named a replacement in number 6th ranked bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2), who just happens to be making his WEC debut. This will also be his first time fighting in the United States as he has been a mainstay in the GCM Cage Force promotion in his native Japan and he is also a Shooto veteran.

On one hand Mizugaki gets a great opportunity with the chance to fight for the title right away. On the other hand he has to go through the top bantamweight fighter in the world to get it. Miguel Torres, along with being the top bantamweight, is also considered by many to be one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Torres has successfully defended the WEC Bantamweight Title twice since defeating Chase Beebe for the belt in February 2008. His title defenses have come over Yoshiro Maeda (23-6-2) and previously undefeated Manny Tapia (10-1) with both wins coming by way of TKO.

Torres and Mizugaki are both coming into their fight on impressive win streaks with Mizugaki winning five in a row and Torres winning an unbelievable (unless you have seen him fight) 16 in a row. Their title fight will headline WEC 40 at the UIC Pavilion in Torres’ hometown of Chicago, Illinois. 

Once recovered, Brian Bowles’ management believes he will be allowed to fight the winner of Torres and Mizugaki for the WEC Bantamweight Title. This would seem the appropriate course of action considering Bowles earned his spot as number one contender by finishing every fighter the WEC has placed in front of him. Since arriving in the WEC in June 2007, Bowles has defeated Charlie Valencia (10-5), Marcos Galvao (6-2-1), Damacio Page (10-4), and Will Ribeiro (10-2).

Stay tuned to PRO MMA ( for more information about this card and other upcoming WEC events.

By: Dusty Adams / Jack Bratcher

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