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Maggie Hendricks

Torres wins barnburner over Mizugaki, keeps WEC belt

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Miguel Torres retained his WEC bantamweight championship belt on a much longer fight than anyone expected. Torres won with a unanimous decision, 49-46, 48-47. This was only the third time Torres won by decision, and the first time in a five-round bout.

Torres came into deafening applause, accompanied by Mexican music. The crowd at the UIC Pavilion stood the second that the Torres' entrance music began. You almost felt bad for Mizugaki, because the place was so in love with Torres.

Mizugaki was clearly not intimidated by Torres' presence, or the crowd behind him. He came out swinging, landing some knees and punches early on, and then knocking Torres to the ground. The first round was controlled by Mizugaki.

The second round was more even, but by the third, Torres had a cut over his left eyebrow. After the doctor checked his eye and cleared him to fight, Torres came out with a flurry.

In the fourth round, Torres tried to take Mizugaki to the ground, which drew a round of applause from the pro-Torres crowd. Mizugaki, however, got right back to his feet, and continued the stand-up heavy fight. Torres finished that round well.

By the fifth round, Torres wanted to show off some jiu-jitsu, trying a flying guard. That didn't garner him much, so he went back to standing and trading. The crowd came to its feet in the final minute of the fight and chanted Torres, trying to will their hometown hero to victory.

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