#1 bantamweight /#5 pound-for-pound fighter Miguel Torres will reportedly make his next title defense at WEC 40, which will be held April 5th in Chicago; the venue will be announced soon. Unsurprisingly, his opponent will be Brian Bowles (7-0, all wins by stoppage), who clinched his #1 contender status last month by choking out Will Ribeiro at WEC 37 — the same event where Torres retained his bantamweight strap by beating the tar out of Manny Tapia. Ferocious local support should be behind Torres, who lives and trains in East Chicago, Indiana, and made his name by competing in small shows in the area. WEC 40 will also feature another bantamweight match between undefeated Joseph Benavidez and Jeff Curran, who is dropping a weight class after taking consecutive losses at featherweight to Urijah Faber and Mike Brown. The winner of the Torres/Bowles fight will likely take on the winner of the Benavidez/Curran fight in a title scrap later this year.
Remember, WEC 38 goes down this Sunday, headlined by Varner/Cerrone and Faber/Pulver II, and WEC 39 is scheduled for March 1st, featuring Mike Brown vs. Leonard Garcia and Carlos Condit vs. Brock Larson.
In other important non-UFC matchup news…
— Highly regarded welterweights Nick Thompson and Paul Daley will headline MFC 20 at the River Cree Resort and Casino near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on February 20th. Thompson (the former BodogFight welterweight champion) and Daley (the former CageRage welterweight champion) made runs at EliteXC’s welterweight title last year, but were both submitted by Jake Shields.
— MMA old-schoolers Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott will be fighting in separate bouts at WarGods/Ken Shamrock Productions’ "Valentine’s Eve Massacre" show on February 13th in Fresno, California, and could be facing each other in April. Shamrock’s opponent for "Massacre" will be Ross Clifton, a 360-pound super-heavyweight who has lost five of his last six bouts and is actually Dan Quinn’s roommate. Abbott will be taking on Mike Bourke, a King of the Cage mainstay who has gone 1-7 with one no-contest in his last nine bouts. The card also features Josh Haynes, Tonya Evinger, Jennifer Tate, Ashe Bowman, and Wesley "Cabbage" Correira.