Initially, ufc head honcho Dana White insisted during a media teleconference concerning the WEC/UFC merger that the first sign of former WEC’s fighter’s assimilating into the UFC would be the featherweight title fight pitting champion Jose Aldo against contender Josh Grispi at UFC 125 on January 1st.
Since then, additional match ups have been added to some future UFC event’s, including the return of Leonard Garcia when he meets fellow featherweight slugger Tyler Toner for “The Ultimate Fighter 12″ finale show in December.
Slowly but surely, former WEC competitors are becoming do dissent into the UFC ranks, and there’s truly no better time to be a fan than right now.
Former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, who is quite possibly the most recognized Mexican-American-Mullet bearer in the sport, will return to action to meet former title challenger Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126, in February of next year.
Heavy.com caught the beat of the action earlier today.
Both Miguel and Antonio will make their UFC debuts this February in an effort to return to the title picture.
Torres, the aforementioned former title holder, recently bounced back from a disappointing two-fight losing streak with a victory over former contender Charlie Valencia. Miguel, who defended the bantamweight title for a record three times before being derailed by Brian Bowles for his championship and then to bantamweight standout Joseph Benavidez (respectively), was able to submit Valencia in the second-round with a rear naked choke. With the victory, Miguel picked up “Submission of the Night” honors as well as placed himself back into the title picture.
Hoping to again reclaim his top spot, Antonio Banuelos will look to put a stop to the 29-year-old’s ascension back to the top of the division with a victory over the former champ.
For Banuelos, who is a glorified bantamweight fighter who can very compete in the flyweight division, a victory over Miguel is everything. A life long training partner of Chuck Liddell‘s out of “The Pit” in Arroyo Grande, Calif., the scrappy veteran has won four of his past five bouts, with the only loss coming to the hands of current title challenger Scott Jorgensen, whom Antonio hold’s a victory over.
The 31-year-old has been within arm’s reach of a title shot on several occasion’s since a failed attempt to grab the gold from former title holder Eddie Wineland in 2006, and will look to make Torres an example of his frustration’s.
The bout is expected to take place on the main card of UFC 126, which is headlined by middleweight contest pitting current champion Anderson Silva against former teammate Vitor Belfort, and features additional bout’s such as Forrest Griffin against Rich Rich Franklin, Jon Jones against Ryan Bader, and Jake Ellenberger versus Jon Fitch.
So, MMA peeps, what do you make of the match up? Are you glad to see the bout taking place on a major UFC card–the Super Bowl card at that? Who do you favor in the match up? Sound off in the comment section below.