Article

Antonio Banuelos' Twisted Idea of Fun

What many consider meaningless, Antonio Banuelos considers meaningful. What others regard as frightening, he regards as enlightening. What some perceive as painful, he perceives as amusing.
What many consider meaningless, Antonio Banuelos considers meaningful. What others regard as frightening, he regards as enlightening. What some perceive as painful, he perceives as amusing. Simply put, the 31-year-old Californian is ‘a fighter’s fighter.’ And if there was ever any doubt, the John Hackleman and Chuck Liddell protégé’s sentiments leading up to his Feb. 5 battle against MMA legend Miguel Angel Torres should set things straight.

“It’s going to be an all-out brawl,” Banuelos said with cheer in his voice of his looming showdown with the former world champ. “15 minutes of fun.”

Fun? Fun!?

Against Miguel “I-Dare-You-To-Mock-My-Mullet” Torres?

Really?

It’s quite a telling statement, especially since Banuelos, as much as anyone, must be keenly aware of the perilous task he signed up for. He cannot credibly plead ignorance headed into the UFC debut for both men. Himself a lighter weight pioneer, Banuelos (19-6) has been fighting for a decade, a year shy of his silver-tongued adversary. So he’s had plenty of time to witness the lengthy path of devastation and destruction that the iron-willed Mexican-American (Torres) has wrought upon the 135- pound division.

Not long ago, Torres was hailed as one of the sport’s pound-for-pound elite and the numbers behind his rise are Hall of Fame worthy: 37 wins. 31 finishes. Separate win streaks of 19 and 17, almost unheard of in the sport. Banuelos likely appreciates that, inside of the cage, Torres is a relentless punisher. The East Chicago, Indianan possesses the mean streak of Dick Butkus and the mental steel of Michael Jordan. He habitually forces foes to pick their poison: be submitted by a wicked good jiu-jitsu game or repeatedly eat stinging blows generated by a whopping 76-inch reach – the longest in the weight class.

Banuelos’ reach: 63 inches. He is also 5’3”, 6 inches shorter than Torres. But not the least bit concerned.

“Miguel is a great fighter but we worked on a good gameplan,” Banuelos said. “I took his reach into consideration but you’ve got to remember – everybody’s got reach on me so I’m used to it. I have my own style and I know it’s going to match up very well against him.”

Though Torres is obsessed with reclaiming his top dog status, Banuelos has actually been the hotter fighter of late. Torres has won three of his past five bouts while Banuelos is 4-1 over the same span, including a decision victory over recent No. 1 contender Scott Jorgensen (earning both men a Fight of The Night bonus). One other statistic jumps out in this contest. Torres and Banuelos share four common opponents: Charlie Valencia, Manny Tapia, Jeff Bedard and Mike French. Torres is 4-0 against the quartet, while Banuelos fared 1-3. Physically and stylistically, Banuelos resembles Joseph Benavidez and Charlie Valencia, two other hard-cracking wrestlers. The former bloodied and became the only fighter to submit Torres. The latter was abused in the standup realm by Torres and then put away with a choke.  

Banuelos hasn’t been submitted in a live fight in eight years. And, for anyone wondering, he feels he’s more Benavidez than Valencia in this matchup.

“It’s a huge fight. This would put me in line for a title shot,” Banuelos said. “I’ve been wanting a title shot for a long time and he’s a former champion so this is a huge steppingstone for me … I’m super-excited. I’ve always wanted to fight at a UFC. Every time I’ve gone and watched a UFC, in the back of my mind I thought, ‘Oh my God I want to fight in front of one of these crowds. This is the coolest thing ever. Now it’s a dream come true so I’m climbing up the walls, I can’t wait for it.”

Watch Past Fights

토요일, 9월 5
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Las Vegas, Nevada

미디어

최근
UFC Minute 진행자 리사 포일스가 홀리 홈과 이야기를 나눴다. 그리고 론다 로우지와의 경기가 발표된 후 미샤 테이트와 어떤 이야기를 나눴는지도 공개된다.
2015. 9. 3
메건 올리비가 플라이급 챔피언 드미트리우스 존슨과 자리를 함께 했다. 존슨은 UFC 191 대회에서 7차 타이틀 방어전을 앞두고 있다. 존슨의 체급지배력, 상대인 존 도슨에 대해서 솔직한 이야기가 오갔다. UFC 191 대회는 PPV로 이번 토요일 방송된다.
2015. 9. 2
드미트리우스 존슨과 존 도슨이 1차전 영상을 지켜본 후 상대방의 기술을 어떻게 파악했는지 설명한다. 양 선수는 라스베이거스에서 이번 토요일 열리는 UFC 191 대회에 출전해 2차전을 치른다. 대회는 PPV로 시청할 수 있다.
2015. 9. 2
UFC 191 대회로 향한 길은 프랭크 미어, 페이지 벤전트, 알렉스 챔버스, 드미트리우스 존슨 등의 선수들이 막바지 팀 훈련을 실시하는 장면으로 채워진다. UFC 191 대회는 토요일 라이베이거스에서 열리며 PPV로 감상할 수 있다.
2015. 9. 1