When Brian Bowles last fought Dominick Cruz last March, there was no talk of any imminent WEC merger with the UFC. After fighting through multiple injuries that kept him out for the rest of 2010, Bowles is ready to make his long awaited return on a bigger stage than he's ever been.
"I'm so glad it happened. It's something I've been looking forward to," said Bowles. "People always ask me when am I going to fight in the UFC. They don't realize when I was the champ, I was the world champ, you know just like Anderson Silva or anybody else."
Bowles has plagued with several injuries since the Cruz fight, citing the hand injury he suffered in the fight with Cruz, along with a broken foot suffered in training for Wagney Fabiano, as the reasons for his time missed in the Octagon.
"I broke my foot in training for Fabiano, and they casted it, and it's healed up. I can't even tell it ever happened. As for the Cruz fight, they went and put pins in it, and it's all healed up and I'm ready to go now."
In his first five years in the sport of MMA, Bowles has compiled an impressive 8-1 record with his only loss coming to Cruz at WEC 47. He has wins over Charlie Valencia, Will Ribeiro and most notably, Miguel Torres. The win over Torres not only scored Bowles his first WEC Bantamweight title, but he also won the Knockout of the Night award over one of the tougher men in the sport in Torres.
Now, Bowles will try to be the first man to defeat Page twice in the rematch. The first time these two met, Page was choked out via a guillotine choke in the first round. While Bowles is not afraid to submit Page again, he says he's also willing to go toe-to-toe with him if needed.
"Well, I'm not going to give my gameplan up," Bowles began. "But I know what he does well and what I do well...I have power in my hands just like him. I'm not willing to play into his hands, because that's just what he does best, and that would give him the best chance of winning [in a standing fight]. I'm going to mix it up because if people wanted to just see punching, they would go watch boxing."
UFC on Versus 3 is scheduled for March 3 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. The main card is expected to have Mark Munoz square off against C.B. Dollaway, and in the main event, Diego Sanchez meets Martin Kampmann in a Welterweight battle.