by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
When the call came in that Brian Bowles would be forced to bow out of the upcoming bantamweight title fight against Miguel Torres, the champion didn’t blink. He didn’t worry about who he might fight. He just went on training like one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, knowing that he would be up to the challenge for whoever the WEC found for him to fight.
Torres got the change of opponents almost immediately after his original opponent dropped out with a back injury. Top 10 bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki stepped up for the chance to battled Torres, and according to the champion, nothing much changed for him.
“It was no big deal to me. Obviously, I wanted to fight Brian (Bowles). He would have been a tough opponent. I was looking forward to a really big war with him, but the changing of opponents is not a big deal for me,” Torres told MMAWeekly Radio recently. “I think they both have similar styles, there’s no huge, huge difference I think. They both have a similar record; they both have the same strengths. I think Bowles may have a bit stronger wrestling and jiu-jitsu background, but they both have big right hands and big left hooks, so my training camp didn’t really change too much.”
While MMA competition almost always comes down to a battle of skill, Torres says he doesn’t try to over strategize what he’ll do in a fight, he just knows he has the tools to win every time.
“I don’t gameplan. I’m pretty much the same,” Torres commented. “Even though I’m fighting a striker, and I’m going to trade hands with him, and I don’t plan on shooting on him, I’m still training shots, I’m still training jiu-jitsu, I train the full aspect of MMA.”
The best strategy the champion supplements for his training is making sure that his opponent will have no idea where the damage is coming from, just that it’s coming.
“What I want to do is I want to make it hard for them to train against me,” said Torres. “I want to leave no doubt in anybody’s mind that I’m one of the best fighters in my weight class in the world, and one of the best pound for pound.”
His new opponent, Takeya Mizugaki, is a solid fighter from Japan who has competed in both Shooto and Cage Force competitions, while also having cage experience, which will surely help him adapt quicker to the WEC.
“They went half way around the world to find an opponent to suit me. They could have picked someone in the WEC that wasn’t ready, they could have gave me an easy opponent, but they went out there and found the toughest guy they could find,” said Torres. “I mean Sean Shelby told me, he goes, ‘Miguel, I found the toughest guy I could find for you,’ and I appreciate that they’re not trying to pad my record or give me easy fights.”
The champion will face the challenger with the bantamweight title on the line, on Sunday night as the WEC travels to Chicago for the first time ever.