Jose “Shorty” Torres has accomplished a lot for someone with just six professional fights.
He’s a Titan FC two-weight champion, ruling both its flyweight and bantamweight divisions. He’s already done what UFC two-weight champion Conor McGregor has done under the Cage Warriors promotion in less than half the bouts. Torres has even defended both his titles. Yet, he has to take another fight with Titan before he could realize his dream of reaching the UFC. If that sounds frustrating, that’s because it is. Torres was frustrated…until now.
Jose Torres Newfound “Positive Outlook” on UFC Hopes
Torres, 25, told MMASucka that he’s “definitely taking a more positive outlook” into his next fight. He defends his flyweight strap on Friday, Feb. 16 against Alberto Orellano at Titan FC 48.
Most fans believe that Torres has been UFC-bound for awhile. And he nearly was. Torres fielded seven calls from the UFC but was forced to decline most of them.
“Three [calls] for the [Dana White Tuesday Night] Contender Series, twice for Tim Elliott, once for Justin Scoggins,” Torres explained. “I was injured all six times.”
The seventh call was different. Torres was asked to take a short notice catchweight bout at UFC on FOX 27 in Charlotte, an event which happened on Jan. 27. “Shorty” was down to fight. Unfortunately, both opponents the UFC offered didn’t accept the fight with Torres.
Now, Torres said when he’ll make his UFC debut is “up in the air.”
But regardless, Torres won’t let the disappointment and frustration plague him any longer. He said he made that mistake for his last couple of fights, and it possibly cost him the UFC shot that has eluded him thus far.
“Honestly, my last two fights were really big wars,” he said. “I was getting injured because of it. I’ve had to turn down UFC offers.”
Torres said that his last fight, a bantamweight title defence against Gleidson DeJesus, did not have to be a war. He said his mindset disrupted his performance, although he won the fight via fourth-round submission.
“Last fight, I didn’t want to fight Gleidson,” Torres admitted. “I had that mindset of ‘What more do I have to do [to reach the UFC]?’ I have to have a positive mindset. Things happen for a reason.”
Torres intends to treat his next title defence with the same optimistic outlook that propelled him to a 25-1 amateur run and two professional belts.
“I want to treat [my next fight] how I won the IMMAF world championships as an amateur,” he said. “I’m going to try and finish it in the first or second round by TKO.”
Torres’ hard luck in reaching the UFC roster in the past may actually be a blessing in disguise. The UFC announced it will hold its UFC 225 pay-per-view event at the United Center in Chicago on June 9. The Windy City happens to be the Titan champion’s home and his ideal site for a potential UFC debut.
“It’d be a dream come true to come fight in front of my fans.”
“It would mean the world to me,” Torres said of an opportunity to fight on UFC 225. “Everyone is a huge fan of fighting at Madison Square Garden because that’s the pinnacle. For me, the cream of the crop is Chicago. I’ve been fighting for seven years. I haven’t fought in Chicago for five years. I miss my home, I love my home. I’m just a shorty from Chicago trying to make it. It’d be a dream come true to come fight in front of my fans.”
When Torres eventually reaches the UFC, he plans to compete in the flyweight division. He didn’t always think 125 lbs is where he’d be competing professionally.
In fact, he said the weight cut used to “traumatize” him. That is until he met and hired nutritionist Louis Giordano prior to his professional debut. Torres fought twice at bantamweight to kick off his pro career before taking the opportunity to fight for the Titan FC flyweight belt that Tim Elliot had vacated.
“I trusted [Giordano] enough to get me down safely to flyweight,” Torres said. “I wouldn’t fight at flyweight if I didn’t have him at my side.”
The rest is history.
The next chapter of Torres’ story will be written on Friday. The chapter’s villain? Orellano. Torres said the match-up is great for him but will be wary of Orellano for one reason.
“He has nothing to lose, so he’ll bring his ‘A’ game,” he said. “I think him being a no-name fighter makes him 100 percent more dangerous. This is his first real big opportunity. He’s fought some decent opponents, but he’s never fought someone like me.”
If Torres can back that statement up, the UFC could very well make phone call No. 8. Chicago in June would be perfect timing.