Former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres (37-2) will likely return to action against top division prospect Joseph Benavidez (11-1) at WEC 47: "Bowles vs. Cruz" from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 6, 2010.
Torres hasn't see the inside of a cage since his stunning first round knockout loss to Brian Bowles at WEC 42 last August at "The Joint" from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite the loss, the former champ is still widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. That's because prior to the setback the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had not tasted defeat since 2003. He was riding an amazing 17-fight win streak, which came to an abrup end courtesy of several unanswered bombs from the heavy-handed Bowles.
Unfortunately, the East Chicago native won't enjoy the opportunity to ease back into the title hunt as a plethora of hungry bantamweights are circling the waters for their shot at 135-pound gold.
Chief among them is Benavidez, fresh off a first round technical knockout over Rani Yahya at WEC 45: "Cerrone vs. Ratcliff" earlier this month.
Benavidez -- the protege and training partner of Urijah Faber -- battled Dominick Cruz in a number one contender eliminator match in the co-main event of WEC 42: "Torres vs. Bowles." The 25-year-old lost the first fight of his career that night, missing out on his chance to face the 135-pound division champion.
As a result, Cruz is now set to face Bowles at the March 6 event.
Like most bantamweights, Benavidez uses his speed and quickness to win fights. He's also a fantastic wrestler, which complements his athleticism nicely. Before the loss to Cruz, the Team Alpha Male product had won both of his appearances in the WEC cage by decision over Danny Martinez and Jeff Curran.
He's clearly near the top of the food chain in the fast growing WEC bantamweight division.
But is that enough to topple the former champ?
WEC 47 is expected to be headlined by Brian Bowles as he makes his first title defense against the 14-1 Dominick Cruz. Jens Pulver is also slated to make his WEC return after taking time off following a four-fight losing streak.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more information on this still developing fight card.