New Blood

Name: Brian Bowles

Professional Record: 4-0

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 135lbs

Discipline: Wrestling

Notable Wins: Charlie Valencia

 

A rugged wrestler from Georgia, Brian Bowles burst onto the bantamweight (135 pound limit) scene in a big way at his World Extreme Cagefi ghting debut, taking out former King of the Cage champion Charlie Valencia in June.

With the WEC now showcasing both the featherweight (145 pound limit) and bantamweight divisions, it gives smaller fighters like Bowles a place to shine. Until recently, they didn’t have that opportunity.

Bowles trains out of the Hardcore Gym in Athens, Georgia, with fighters such as

Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Rory Singer, and WEC veterans Stephan Ledbetter and Micah Miller. Building on a solid wrestling base, he has slowly been developing the rest of his mixed martial arts game.

Bowles surprised many in attendance by bringing the fight straight to Valencia, who was coming off an impressive knockout of former WEC champion Antonio Banuelos. He controlled the pace of the fight with crisp punching combinations, and by out-hustling Valencia on the ground. Valencia had no answers for the young fighter, and succumbed to a rear naked choke in the second round.

Going into the fight, Bowles had limited experience, having only fought three times in his young career. All three were victories, but against lesser competition than he was slated to face in the WEC, which houses some of the best bantamweights in the world.

Bowles no doubt has his eyes on the prize, the WEC Bantamweight Championship, but in order to get there, he must work his way up the ladder. Slated to face Marcos Galvao in his next bout, Bowles is likely vying with the Brazilian export for a shot at current champion Chase Beebe sometime in

 

Name: Marcos Galvao

Nickname: “Louro”

Professional Record: 5-0

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 135 lbs

Discipline: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Notable Wins: Kenji Osawa, Naoya Uematsu and Fredson Paxiao

A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Andre Pedernieras, Marcos “Louro” Galvao is primed to make a splash in the United States when he makes his WEC debut against Bowles.

Galvao trains at the world-renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu factory, Nova Uniao. This camp has produced such decorated MMA fighters as Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Thiago Tavares, and Thales Leites.

He was thrown to wolves when he made his MMA debut several years ago in Shooto, going up against some of the best bantamweights in world with no experience. Galvao held his own, going 4-1 in the venerable Japanese promotion, with his only loss coming to current Shooto Featherweight Champion Akitoshi Hokazono. In his native Brazil, Galvao has gone 2-0 with victories over Naoya Uematsu and Fredson Paxiao in impressive fashion.

His breakout fight was at Shooto Back to our Roots 3, where he took on highly regarded striker Kenji Osawa, in what was considered to be a number-one contender’s match for the featherweight title. Galvao employed an excellent strategy against the dangerous Osawa, neutralizing his striking by clinching and getting the fi ght to the ground. Osawa had no answer for the strategy, as Galvao earned a three-round unanimous decision.

Someone was paying close attention to that fi ght, as the WEC quickly made an offer to Galvao, which would see the Brazilian fighter make his way to the United States. He is set to make his stateside debut in December.

“This is a great opportunity in my life, and I’ve been looking forward to fighting in the United States,” said Galvao. “Now I have my opportunity and I will give it my best.”

He has proven over the years to be an excellent ground fighter, dominating his opponents with his slick and technical ground game. He muscles his opponents to the mat, controlling them from the top.

“I’m a very calm and technical fighter during the fight,” commented Galvao on his style.

 When he faces Bowles, Galvao will be the first fighter to make the transition from Shooto in Japan to the WEC in the United States. This will be his first fight in a cage, but that shouldn’t have much affect on the calm and collected style of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guru.

 

Name: Jorge Masvidal

Nickname: “Gamebred”

Professional Record: 12-2

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 155 lbs

Discipline: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Key Wins: Yves Edwards, Matt Lee, Keith Wisniewski and Joe Lauzon

 

He’s young and cocky, but he has the skills to back up his brash attitude in the cage.

His name? Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. Masvidal has fought in several different weight divisions, but has recently found a home at lightweight (155 pound limit). It’s one of the more talented and crowded divisions in the sport, but he is looking to make waves all the same.

He made a name for himself in Florida, fighting for American Fighting Championship, and was soon noticed by the fledging Bodog Fight promotion. He made his Bodog debut at welterweight, winning a convincing decision over UFC veteran Keith Wisniewski. The fight got him noticed by the MMA community.

After contemplating it for a time, he decided that moving to lightweight was in his best interests, as was a move to American Top Team, which soon followed. Now at home with the world famous ATT, Masvidal works on his game in an already crowded gym.

“Its fun,” he said of training with so many of the top names in the sport, “especially when you’ve got them all in succession. I got Gesias “JZ” Calvancante around, then Din Thomas, then Marcus Aurelio, and then someone in a higher weight class who is also in the top ten.”

Since beginning his training at ATT, Masvidal has been gaining notoriety with his impressive in-ring performances. In July, Masvidal took on highly regarded lightweight Yves Edwards, who is a UFC and PRIDE veteran. He showed his versatility as an MMA fighter by knocking out Edwards in devastating fashion.

Masvidal continued his winning streak when he made his Strikeforce debut in September at the Playboy Mansion. He took on fellow Bodog Fight veteran Matt Lee, who was coming off a solid, albeit losing, performance against Eddie Alvarez in July. Masvidal attempted to take the fight to the ground, but Lee defended well and kept it standing. That would soon be a mistake, as Masvidal unleashed a furious flurry of elbows that dropped Lee before finishing him off with strikes on the ground.

In Strikeforce, he has the opportunity to face two of the best lightweights in the world in Josh “The Punk” Thomson and Gilbert Melendez. A win over either of these fighters would vault Masvidal into consideration as one of the top fighters in the division.

“I’d love to fight either of them,” he stated. “I’d come out the victor too. I’m dead serious. I’d bet the house on it. If we fight, I’d put a whooping on either of them.” Although he is cocky, this young brash fighter appears to have a bright future in MMA.

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