5 of the best bantamweight fights in MMA history

UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw v Cruz
UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw v Cruz / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Miguel Torres vs. Takeya Mizugaki | WEC 40

Before there was Dominick Cruz and TJ Dillashaw, there was Miguel Torres, Brian Bowles and Takeya Mizugaki. Obviously, the greatest moments in bantamweight history seem to revolve around Cruz and Dillashaw, but before they became household names, Torres and Mizugaki were holding it down for the 135-pound fighters. This fight should have been Torres-Bowles, but he pulled out of the fight.

For both fighters, this was a massive fight. This would mark Torres' third straight title defense after beating Chase Beebe. Mizugaki was a budding star in Japan making his debut for WEC in a title fight. At the time, Torres was considered the king at 135 pounds and it was truly the beginning of a new era in the WEC.

Mizugaki was a big part of the new era of WEC fighters as well. While he was unknown at the time, he represented the growth of the sport on a global scale and would go on to become a perennial contender as the WEC merged with the UFC.

This fight was highly competitive and was a back and forth brawl. The best part about it was the technical side. While there was not gallons of blood spilled in the fight, it was a true MMA display with Torres showcasing his striking and BJJ skills as Mizugaki tried to find ways to steal the fight. it was a display of incredible pace, skill and determination.

Torres won the fight via unanimous decision, but it was obvious that this fight put Torres on the map in an even bigger way. Mizugaki proved he belonged in the WEC ranks as well.