by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com

World Extreme Cagefighting
bantamweight Brian Bowles has started to see the fruits of his labor in MMA.


In February, the 25-year-old
Athens, Ga. native left his day job as a sales rep for Pepsi with the dream of
making a serious run at the WEC bantamweight title. Gone are the 60-hour
workweeks with training and fights squeezed in. Sure, he bar backs and bounces
at a local club for extra money, but his day job doesn’t rule his life as


“I think my game has gotten so
much better,” he said. “I get a lot more rest and recovery time. When I come
into a fight, it helps me mentally, because I know I’ve focused all my time
doing nothing but preparing for the fight.”


With his recent victory over
Will Ribeiro at Wednesday’s WEC 37, Bowles feels he’s
earned the right to face current champ Miguel Torres


“I’ve beat four tough
opponents,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve beat everybody that they’ve put in
front of me, and finished them off.”


Bowles looked very much the
complete fighter against Ribeiro, matching the Brazilian’s Olympic-trained
hands and stopping his ground attack.


“It’s right up there, man,”
Bowles said of his performance. “It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever had. I
feel like I performed well against a tough opponent. I got to showcase a little
bit more of my skills.”


Bowles says he will need his
well-roundedness to take on the champion, who has looked progressively more
dangerous in all ranges of a fight. Of particular concern is Torres’ range,
which he used to decimate recent challenger Manny Tapia. Before Tapia even had
a chance to close the distance, he was eating heavy jabs that eventually took
their toll.


“If you’ve never trained or
fought somebody with a reach like that, that lankiness, you don’t know what to
expect,” Bowles said. “Especially when you grapple with somebody like that, it’s
weird, it’s a different game. But fortunately I’ve been able to grapple with
people built like him and I know how to deal with it.”


So far, there’s been no
indication of Bowles’ next opponent. A fellow main card competitor on Wednesday’s
card, Joseph Benavidez, also walked away with a dominating performance. Bowles
just re-signed with the WEC, and has five more fights on his contract. While a
contender fight with Benavidez would seem a natural fit at this point in his
run, Bowles is keeping his eye on the belt.  


“I think it’s what I deserve,”
he said.


WEC 37 VIDEO: Miguel
Torres & Brian Bowles Post-fight


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