Exclusive: Miguel Torres Talks About the WSOF and Showing He’s Still a Top Fighter
The name Miguel Torres still carries a lot of weight, especially considering he fights at 135lbs. After ruling the WEC bantamweight division for nearly two years, Torres ran into some tough fighters and lost two of his last three bouts for the organization before being swallowed up by the UFC.
The excitement surrounding the inclusion of such fighters as Torres, Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz into the UFC was shared by many mixed martial arts fans around the world. It also gave the WEC fighters an opportunity to fight in front of a larger audience and earn bigger paydays.
Unfortunately for Torres his stint in the UFC didnâ€™t last very long as he lost two of his four bouts inside the Octagon. He was cut briefly from December 8th to December 28th of last year for some comments he made regarding rape on his Twitter account, but was brought back after apologizing.
His last bout for the organization came in April and he was defeated via 1st round knockout by Michael McDonald at UFC 145. He is now preparing to face Marlon Moraes for the upstart promotion World Series of Fighting on November 3rd in Las Vegas. Heâ€™s excited about the fresh start as well as fighting on the NBC Network which was formerly known as Versus, the network that aired so many WEC events.
â€śIâ€™m really excited about starting with a new organization, Iâ€™m getting in on the ground floor,â€ť Torres told BJPenn.Com. â€śItâ€™s a strong card in a good venue and itâ€™s going to be on cable. Iâ€™m just excited to see how far we can go. I started off with the Versus Network when I was with the WEC and itâ€™s pretty cool to get this chance to go back there.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ve trained with Moraes before for about two months. I know heâ€™s a very good striker, very good on the ground; overall heâ€™s pretty well rounded. I believe the fight will be on the feet most of the time. I can tell you that the fans will be very excited.â€ť
Torres is also very excited about the opportunity to work with kickboxing legend Ray Sefo who is heading the World Series of Fighting promotion. Working for someone who knows about the trials and tribulations that fighters go through is something Torres appreciates.
â€śI think itâ€™s awesome, Iâ€™ve been watching Ray since I was just starting out,â€ť said the former WEC Bantamweight Champion. â€śHeâ€™s been one of my idols for a long time and to have him as the president of the organization is an honor. Heâ€™s a fighter and has been through all the things weâ€™ve been through, Iâ€™m really happy to be fighting for him,â€ť
Itâ€™s hard to believe that in 2012 that fans still associate mixed martial arts with either the UFC or Strikeforce. There are so many great fighters around the globe that havenâ€™t gotten the attention they deserve, but Torres believes thatâ€™s about to change.
â€śI travel to a lot of different places and I know a lot of talented guys from all over the world,â€ť said Torres. â€śThe guys who are big in the UFC are well known because of the exposure they have been able to get. With the WSOF coming in they are going to pick a lot of guys up who are very good, very aggressive and have a lot of raw talent that many fans donâ€™t know anything about. â€ś
Too many fans and pundits are writing Torres off because of his past few fights. Itâ€™s hard to imagine that they could forget all of the great fights he has been a part of throughout his 12 year career. Come November 3rd Torres is using all of this as motivation to show the world that he is still a tough fight for anyone.
â€śYou hit the nail on the head, I know who I am and I know what I can do,â€ť said a very confident Torres. â€śIâ€™ve been around a long time and still have a lot to offer to this sport. Anyone who counts me out or thinks that I am done, they are insane. This is my opportunity to prove to everyone who I am again.â€ť
By traveling from gym to gym, Torres trains with an insane amount of great fighters and coaches. Whether he is at Tri-Star or at his own gym, Torres is all about hard work and utilizing all the talent he has available to make him a better fighter. He also uses his own gym as a way to give back and relishes working with inner city children.
â€śI was at my gym in Hammond, IN for the past month and a half,â€ť Torres offered. â€śI came up to Montreal last Wednesday and Iâ€™m training with Firas Zahabi and his little brother Aiemann who is an up and comer. Iâ€™m also working with Ryan Hall, Yves Jaboiun, Ivan Menjivar and Louis Santos. When youâ€™re in the room with so many great fighters and great coaches youâ€™re going to get better. Itâ€™s a great environment to be a part of.â€ť
â€śMy gym is about 10 minutes from Chicago, itâ€™s where Iâ€™m from and thereâ€™s not a lot for the kids out there. There are a lot of gangs, drugs and violence. I lost a few homies and I keep my gym there to give back to the community. I work with a lot of kids looking to avoid trouble and I take them into the gym. If they canâ€™t pay I train them for free. I let the parents train; itâ€™s a complete family environment. Iâ€™ve had two or three fighters come out of the gym, but everyone else are just regular people. Iâ€™m looking forward to watching it grow in the future.â€ť
Look for part two of our interview with Miguel Torres later this week.