Five pro fights, two belts, Champ Champ. In the span of just 18 months, Jose “Shorty” Torres has gone from humble prospect to illustrious champion for the Titan FC brand. Torres has been an increasingly promising stand out in a division that has been criticized for being devoid of talent at the top level. Just a few days after turning 25, Jose Torres is continuing rehab on the broken hand and knee he suffered in his last title victory over Farkhad Sharipov back in May and now has his eyes set on a dream debut for the UFC sooner rather than later.
With the notable performances he’s had in the cage thus far coupled with his gritty, in-your-face fighting style, it’s only a matter of time before Sean Shelby and the rest of the UFC matchmakers take notice of the promising Combat-Do fighter and make a move to have him on the flyweight roster. Torres, unlike most fighters coming into the UFC, has been training at an elite level for quite some time now, regularly seen sparring and sharpening his skills with the likes of T.J. Dillashaw and Duane Ludwig at the Muscle Pharm gym in Colorado for his past training camps. His pedigree as a martial artist is as high as can be without actually being in the most premier fighting promotion, but Torres is adamant that his luck will soon change as things begin to take shape.
Eyes On The Prize
Jose Torres’ technical ability in the cage has been molded through the years it took for him to get to that elite level of striking and grappling with his background in Karate, Kickboxing and Judo respectively. Boasting a 25-1 amateur record across a few different combat sports is nothing short of impressive, and the skies are truly the limit for a fighter that is on the cusp of greatness and sees no obstacle in sight. When asked about his prospects for upcoming fights Torres was reluctant to spill too much information but mused over the possibility of fighting a top fighter like Henry Cejudo in November once he has fully healed.
“I don’t know, I see the guys at the top right now, and Henry Cejudo is someone I think I match up well against and it would make for an exciting fight.”
Even though Henry Cejudo recently had a bout rescheduled against Wilson Reis for UFC 215, there’s always a possibility of a quick turn-around date if one of those fighters has a fast finish. There are still plenty of moving parts at flyweight that could make Torres’ shot at 125 stardom easier than expected. He’s also made some not-so-subtle jabs to UFC Flyweight Jarred Brooks, claiming he would ‘make a highlight reel out of him’ over on Instagram. Brooks responded quickly, telling him to ‘beg’ for a shot using his name and likening Torres’ facial features to Oscar the Grouch. Jose Torres took him up on that offer, adding some banter in his reply, and it looks like if his management teams make the right moves there could be an exciting rivalry brewing between two men who have a score to settle with each other in the near future.
Staying The Course
Although he has yet to receive a fight from the UFC, Titan FC’s broadcast deal with UFC Fight Pass will help make that transition amongst organizations easier. With the Flyweight division being as bare as it is, Jose Torres is looking more and more like a prime contender to make a splash on the bigger stage once he gets his name called. Last month, Torres spent a few days in Orlando coaching his team in the IKF Kickboxing tournament as one of his students was able to claim gold. Over the course of the interview, it was apparent that his love for all things MMA is deep rooted in his pursuit of excellence as a martial artist, and that passion for the sport is something that he actively tries to pass on to his students.
Torres’ attitude towards helping others and empowering his students was extremely refreshing in a sport that is consistently rewarding those that are selfish with their time in training and preparation. Torres’ path in this sport is the product of a new breed in MMA and his humble demeanor makes him a guy to root for win, lose or draw.
As our conversation started to wind down, I asked Jose about a lighter (albeit more dramatic) subject about his favorite TV shows. Growing up as an avid fan of Dragon Ball it was interesting to see Torres sporting custom gear inspired by the show, and to my surprise, he turned out to be a bigger fan than I was! If there’s one thing I learned about Jose over the course of our chat, it’s that he’s a class act with plenty more to offer the sport of MMA. I noted his attitude difference in comparison to fellow rising star Sean O’Malley who I interviewed last month, drawing a juxtaposition between the cockiness and brash attitude of O’Malley with the calm, cool and collected nature of the Titan FC champion.
“Yeah it’s just always been the way I am [referring to attitude] if I had to make a comparison I think I’m more like Goku and Sean O’ Malley is more like Vegeta for sure.”
And the comparison couldn’t have been more spot on, Torres is a warrior with the heart and toughness to take his skills to the next level of the sport. I mean, how many fighters can suffer a broken hand in the first round of a Championship bout against a professional boxer and still get their hand raised in victory? That kind of toughness is what championship caliber fights are built from and there is no better example than Jose Torres right now at 125, and with fight announcements still to be determined there may still be a chance for him to make his name known by the end of the year, only time will tell.
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