WEC 42: "Torres vs. Bowles" from "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, has come to a jaw-dropping close.
In a major upset, Miguel "Angel" Torres -- widely considered the top 135-pound fighter on the planet -- was dethroned by undefeated 29-year-old Brian Bowles. And he left no margin for controversy, pounding the East Chicago, Ind., native unconscious late in the first round.
Coming into the main event title bout, the one question for the former champ was how would he deal with Bowles' power punching and strength advantage ... now we know.
It seemed like everything Bowles threw at Miguel had knockout intentions behind it. And every time he landed, it was clear Torres didn't like it. After tasting the power a few times early on, the champ tried to turn on the aggression himself with a flurry of his own, but he just found himself leaning right into another devastating power punch, which this time sent him directly to the canvas.
Bowles saw that the championship belt was within reach and he did not let the opportunity slip through his grasp. He pounded away at the champion until he was out cold, forcing referee Josh Rosenthal to step in between them.
It was shocking, to say the least, to see a helpless Torres flat on his back not defending himself, but it really happened. And Brian Bowles really is the new WEC bantamweight champion ... and a deserving one at that.
Let the Brian Bowles era begin!
There were plenty of other exciting fights on the Versus telecast as well. Here's how it all went down.
A featherweight battle between the division's former top contender, Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia, and a tough as nails Jameel Massouh found it's way onto the Versus airwaves after the under card ran past its allotted time slot.
No complaints here.
Garcia came out early and landed one of his trademark right hands that had just about everybody thinking the fight was in the books. But, Massouh somehow recovered and got back into the fight. In fact, in the second round, he almost finished the fight himself with a deep, deep triangle choke, that Garcia himself said, "had me seeing black." But the second round bell saved the Greg Jackson trainee and he was able to get his breath back in between rounds.
The third frame was extremely close as well, as both guys tried as best they could to impress the judges. But in the end it was "Bad Boy" who earned himself the split decision victory.
Jeff "The Big Frog" Curran and Takeya Mizugaki went back-and-forth for three rounds in a memorable bantamweight bout to kick off the scheduled main card on the Versus telecast.
Curran came out early looking to take the fight to the mat, but it was Mizugaki who was able to score the takedowns in each of the three rounds. From there, it wasn't easy, but he was able to fend off numerous submission attempts from a game Curran, grounding and pounding his way to a split decision victory.
"The Big Frog" was very active from his back, but cage control and relentless work from the top position won out in the eyes of the judges.
The Danny Castillo and Ricardo Lamas lightweight fight started off slow with both guys feeling each other out on their feet. What was expected to be somewhat of a wrestling match, quickly turned into a pretty decent kickboxing bout with both guys landing hard combinations of punches and kicks.
Lamas appeared to be picking up the pace as the fight wore on and the momentum seemed to be turning in his favor, but that didn't last long. With less than a minute left in the second round, Castillo connected on a beautiful overhand right that was perfectly timed and placed right on Lamas' button.
"The Bully" crumbled like a ton of bricks and Castillo pounded away with a few more strikes before referee Herb Dean had to step in and do his thing. What was turning out to be sort of a slow paced fight, ended in a flash for Lamas.
In the co-main event of the night, bantamweights Joseph Benavidez and Dominick Cruz went at it for three full rounds with both men looking to earn number one contender status in the division. It was an all out war between two of the quickest and most exciting fighters on the WEC roster.
It was Cruz who came out on top with a unanimous decision in the end, handing Benavidez the first loss of his career. Throughout the fight he was able to score numerous takedowns, which seemed to be the difference in the fight even though Benavidez was impossible to pin down. It's hard to call anybody a loser in such an electrifying fight, but Cruz's size advantage proved difficult for Benavidez to deal with.
Still, this was a great fight and another example of why these little guys are so fun to watch. That's a wrap from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For complete WEC 42: "Torres vs. Bowles" results and blow-by-blow coverage of the main card click here.
Next up for the UFC's sister promotion will be WEC 43: "Cerrone vs. Henderson" from the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio, on Sept. 2. Headlining the card will be Greg Jackson pupil Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone going toe-to-toe with Ben "Smooth" Henderson for the interim WEC lightweight title. Former lightweight number one contender Rich "Cleat" Crunkilton will also be on the card, returning from injury to face undefeated prospect Dave Jansen in the co-featured bout of the evening.
Stay locked to MMAmania.com as we'll keep you up to date on all your WEC 43 news leading up to the event.