It’s a debate that captivates the mixed martial arts community. Who is the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter? Champions like BJ Penn, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and Brock Lesnar often get the most recognition, but perhaps the most dominant title holder is one who weighs just 135-pounds.
Miguel Angel Torres, the reigning WEC bantamweight champion, has lost just once in his nine-year career and is currently riding a 17-fight winning streak. What’s more, since winning the title via submission over Chase Beebe in 2008, Torres has left his mark on the bantamweight division with three masterful championship defenses.
To prove Torres’ dominance, take a look at how he matches up against some of MMA’s top kingpins:
MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS: With 17 straight wins, Torres is the most successful fighter currently considered a top pound-for-pound candidate. During that streak, Torres has submitted 10 foes, knocked out five, and won a decision twice. Only Silva, WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown, and Machida come close to matching such dominance. UFC middleweight champion Silva and Brown both have 10-straight wins, while light heavyweight champion Machida is unbeaten in 15 professional contests.
BEST SUBMISSION PERCENTAGE: Of all major world champions, 28-year-old Torres boasts the highest submission percentage at 60 percent. WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner is second with a 56 percent ratio, while WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown is third with a 55 percent mark. UFC lightweight champ BJ Penn boasts a respectable 38 percent submission percentage.
MOST STOPPAGE VICTORIES: Matched with the sport’s top stars, Torres has nearly double the overall stoppage victories than the next closest champion. With 31 wins by knockout or submission, Torres bests Silva (18), Brown (16), Varner (14), St-Pierre (12), Penn (10), Machida (7), and Lesnar (3).
SECOND IN TITLE DEFENSES: Only 185-pound titlist Silva has more successful championship defenses (5) than Torres (3). A win on Aug. 9 would also put Torres in elite company when it comes to most championship fights won. A victory over Bowles would be Torres’ fifth in a title bout, tying him with Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell. Silva and St-Pierre are the only other active champions with more wins in title fights (6).
SECOND MOST KOs AMONG ACTIVE CHAMPIONS: With nine knockout victories in his career, Torres ranks second behind Silva (14) among current title holders. St-Pierre (8), Penn (5), Machida (5), Varner (5), Brown (4) and Lesnar (2) round out the list.
Tickets for Torres vs. Bowles are on sale now and priced at $40, $55, $85, $100, $125, $175, and $225. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the Hard Rock Box Office. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.
Torres vs. Bowles will be televised nationally live on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. All of the network’s live WEC events are presented in HD and Spanish language SAP where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.