Blogkick: UFC 126 Miguel Torres vs. Antonio BanuelosPosted on February 5, 2011, 06:01 PM by Milt
Miguel Torres holds victories over the first 36 men he fought in his professional career but he has won just one of his last three fights. Torres was heavy favourite when he entered the cage against Brian Bowles in August 2009, many considering the fight a foregone conclusion. The heavy handed Bowles managed to connect in the second round, however, and handed the WEC Bantamweight Champion the first and only KO loss of his career. Torres was again a heavy favourite when he stepped up against contender Joseph Benavidez seven months later but was once more undone in the second round, this time via rear naked choke. These two upsets caused Torres to tumble from the pound for pound rankings and severely diminished the air of invincibility that had surrounded him previously. He has since made a return to winning ways with a victory over CharlieValencia at WEC 51 but still has some work to do to re-establish himself as the undisputed king of the Bantamweight division.
The man standing in Torres’ way is Antonio Banuelos. Banuelos’ record may not be as impressive as Torres’ but he is an extremely tough customer nonetheless with notable victories over Scott Jorgensen and Chad George. He is a competent striker and a strong wrestler and will look to use those strengths to wear down his opponent. He will look to get inside Torres’ range to nullify the ex-champion’s reach advantage and score with dirty boxing and takedowns. Unfortunately for Banuelos, Torres is a phenomenally diverse and talented striker as well as being an expert grappler. Regardless of where this fight goes Torres will have the advantage. If Banuelos chooses to stand with Torres he will be outpointed. If he takes him down he risks being the twenty-fourth opponent of Torres to be submitted on the ground. I predict the latter. I expect Banuelos to try to grind this one out with his wrestling only to become entangled by Torres’ grappling and tap out to a triangle choke in round one.