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Torres keeps WEC title with knockout

Miguel Torres is known for the wide array of submissions he is capable of pulling off inside the cage.

Manny Tapia found out Wednesday night that Torres possesses a pretty good jab, too.

Torres kept his shorter opponent at a distance with a strong left jab and eventually retained the World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight title with a second-round knockout in the main event of a card at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Torres, who had a 9-inch reach advantage, not only used the punch to control the action, but he inflicted damage with several of his jabs.

“I jab pretty hard,” Torres said. “I think the first one I caught Manny with surprised him. I think it staggered him a bit.”

Indeed, Tapia was sent back forcefully less than 10 seconds into the fight.

Torres put Tapia on the mat early in the second round with a big right hand. Tapia got to his feet, but Torres dropped him again with a right hand.

This time, the champion pounced and finished the previously unbeaten Tapia.

“I always thought I had a great chin,” Tapia said. “I guess not.”

Torres’ next opponent probably will be Brian Bowles, who remained undefeated with a third-round submission of Will Ribeiro.

Bowles got the better of the action in the first two rounds, then locked up the victory when Ribeiro shot for a takedown and Bowles slapped a guillotine choke on his charging opponent.

He thinks the victory should give him a chance at the title.

“I’ve fought the best opponents and I’ve beaten all the guys they’ve put me in with, so I feel like I deserve a shot,” Bowles said.

Torres agreed that Bowles has earned the opportunity to fight for the belt.

“I think Brian Bowles right now at 135 has proven himself more than anybody,” the champion said.

Also on the card, former International Fight League champion Waggney Fabiano was successful in his WEC debut with a third-round submission of Akitoshi Tamura, and Joseph Benavidez earned a decision over Danny Martinez.

Three Las Vegans were in action on the card. Shane Roller and Johny Hendricks both won by knockout, and Alex Karalexis was knocked out by Bart Palaszewski.

Cub Swanson, Diego Nunes and Mark Munoz also won.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or call 702-224-5509.

 

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