By Anthony Springer Jr.
When the WEC rolls into Chicago April 5, bantamweight champion Miguel Torres can expect a hero’s welcome. The 35-1 champion made a name for himself fighting opponents in Chicago and the surrounding mid western cities. He’ll face a stiff test in Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2), but feels that fighting on his home turf will be one more advantage when the cage door closes.
“It’s an honor to come home,” Torres said on a recent conference call. “I made my career fighting in the Chicago Land area. I left as a regular champ, and came back as a world champ. There’s no added pressure, if anything, it’s a strength.”
The co-headliners are also looking to make a big impression and steal the show. The winner of the bantamweight bout between Jeff “Big Frog” Curran (31-10-1) and Joseph Benavidez will likely face the winner of Torres and Mizugaki. Curran-coming off a loss to featherweight champion Mike Brown-says fighting Benavidez will rejuvenate his career
“I think he’s just what the doctor ordered,” he said of Benavidez. “I need somebody like him to push the pace and help bust me out of my shell.” With an eye on the bantamweight title, Curran was not shy about picking a winner of next week’s main event. “I think Miguel is going to steam roll [Mizugaki] personally.