Former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres
will fight Antonio Banuelos
at UFC 126
The news of the fight was first reported by Heavy.com
Thursday afternoon and MMA Fighting has confirmed with sources close to the bout that it has been agreed to.
With the recent announcement of the merger of the WEC into the UFC, it will be the first UFC appearance for both fighters.
UFC 126 takes place Feb. 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, the promotion's traditional card the night before the Super Bowl. Though not yet announced by the UFC, the main event is expected to be a middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort.
The co-main event is expected be a fight between former champions Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin, a matchup first reported by MMA Fighting. And in a fight expected to determine the next light heavyweight top contender, unbeaten Ryan Bader fights Jon Jones.
Torres (38-3, 6-2 WEC) snapped the first two-fight skid of his career in September with a submission win over Charlie Valencia at WEC 51 in Broomfield, Colo. Banuelos (18-6, 9-5 WEC) was victorious on the same card, winning a unanimous decision against Chad George.
Torres won the WEC's 135-pound title at WEC 32 in February 2008. He defended it three times as part of a stretch of nearly six years without a loss before suffering the first knockout of his career against Brian Bowles at WEC 42 to lose the belt. He then was submitted by Joseph Benavidez at WEC 47 – the first submission loss of his career. But a change in training camps from being his own coach to working with Firas Zahabi at the Tristar Gym in Montreal appeared to pay off with his win over Valencia.
Banuelos has won four of his last five fights, the only setback being a loss in his rematch with Scott Jorgensen at WEC 48 in April. Prior to that, he had won three straight, including a split decision win over Jorgensen at WEC 41. Banuelos trains at The Pit with Chuck Liddell head trainer John Hackelman.