Eight months after his last fight with the UFC, flyweight prospect Jose Torres is back and ready to make his debut with a new promotion. “Shorty” (8-1 MMA) will make his inaugural appearance for Brave CF against the undefeated Amir Albazi (11-0).
The two were set to meet at Brave CF 22 on March 15 before Torres came down with a flu. He pulled out of the fight on the advice from his team and doctor, and the promotion obliged in postponing the contest until Brave CF 23, set for April 19.
“It just makes me that much more ready and that much more prepared,” Torres told MMASucka. “No one wants to see a 50 percent ‘Shorty’ Torres in the cage. Everyone wants to see the best of the best, so that’s what I’m trying to do. I know Amir Albazi was looking forward to the fight. I’ve had opponents back out on me before that I was just so in tune and ready to fight. I understand where he’s at and I appreciate him being willing enough to move it.”
Leaving the UFC
Torres had a 1-1 run in the UFC before the promotion appeared to begin shutting down its flyweight division. While the division is still alive (perhaps because of flyweight champion Henry Cejudo’s win over former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw), its future is still very much up in the air. Still, the UFC cut a bevy of its flyweight talent, including Torres.
“They’ve already released more than 80 percent of a division,” Torres said. “It’s one of those things where it’s like, man, you’re just getting rid of everyone once they lose if you don’t like them or if you don’t want them to bump up, or you’re not going to allow them to bump up like myself, then, hey, you’re out of your contract. That’s pretty much how they released everybody. People aren’t fighting to make money right now. They’re fighting to keep their contracts, jobs and well-being.
I think they’re treating a lot of fighters with disrespect, not giving us a fair share opportunity to either bump up or fight one more to see whether they’re worthy of being in the biggest promotion of the world. I think they’re doing their thing and I think they’re getting a lot of backlash for it.”
Signing with Brave CF
Following the collapse of the UFC flyweight division, many of its former talents were in need of new homes. Torres found his with Brave CF, signing a four-fight deal with a promotion he felt a union with was a “long-time coming.”
Torres did color commentary for the first-ever Brave event, and said he would have maybe joined them sooner had he known what would’ve happened with the UFC.
“Sadly, I signed to a dying weight class that no one pretty much told me about,” he said. “If I would’ve known that, I would have signed with Brave a year ago. I went to a dying weight class, wasn’t treated the way I expected to be treated, was let go. From there I had a good number of promotions hit me up, but Brave just gave me the best offer.”
From there, Torres said his new promotion has shown him nothing but respect. He also likes the mindset with which it treats fighters.
“Just seeing how they ran their shows, seeing how they treated their fighters whether they’re the main event or the very first people on the card, everyone’s getting treated equally,” Torres explained. “There’s a sense of everyone has an equal opportunity to make it to the top. I think that’s the biggest, best thing possible. They really go above and beyond.”
Torres added there’s leeway for him to possibly be a color commentator for Brave in the long run which will help him prove he can serve the MMA community as more than just a fighter.
Torres vs. Albazi
For now, Torres has Albazi in front of him. Albazi enters as an unbeaten 25-year-old (one year younger than Torres) with FightStar Championship and UCMMA bantamweight titles in tow. He most recently won a pair of Bellator flyweight bouts before meeting Torres for his own Brave CF debut.
“It’s a stand-up vs. a ground match-up,” Torres said. “He’s a person who loves Jiu-Jitsu and I’m a person that loves the stand-up game and I want to put on a show. For me, it’s can he take me down? And if he does take me down, can he hold me down?
The guy, he’s just a warrior all in itself. With his background of being an Iraqi refugee and leaving his family in Sweden to live in London, train, and really try to accomplish his goals. He’s not some 11-0 veteran. He’s an 11-0 young, experienced guy like myself. I’m excited to test my skill of wits with him. I know he’s an amazing champion. It’s just, can he handle the likes of me? I’m excited to see that. We’re both calling for second-round finishes. We’ll just see who gets it done first.”
Brave CF Title Aspirations
Torres, a former Titan FC flyweight and bantamweight dual-champion, believes his next fight is a No. 1-Contender bout. He feels a win over Albazi could earn him a Brave CF title shot.
If it does earn him a flyweight title fight, it would notch the first check off “Shorty’s” four-fight Brave CF wish-list.
“My ultimate goal with these four fights is: title contender shot, title fight, defend the belt with the third fight and bump up [to bantamweight] for the fourth fight just like I did for Titan FC. Hopefully everything works well.”
Should everything work out well, Torres would gladly lean towards re-signing with the promotion.
“Before I’ve even had a fight with them, they’ve treated me with so much respect,” he said. “I get to talk to everyone personally. Everyone understands the problems of what fighters go through because they’re past fighters. It’s a really nice home to be at.”
Brave CF 23 goes down Friday, April 19 from the Martyr Rashid Al-Ziyoud Hall Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan. The event will be available for streaming on Brave TV.
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