Trey Ogden (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will look to make it two straight wins when he meets Manuel Torres (13-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night San Antonio on Saturday, March 25.
“[Torres] is pretty basic in my opinion,” Ogden told MMASucka. “Everything he does is pretty obvious. I think that I’m going to read him well. I think he’s pretty one-dimensional and relies a lot on athleticism.”
Ogden pointed to the fact that Torres has only fought past the first round once in his career.
“It’s pretty suspect; if he gets out of the first round, who is he? I think this should be a fairly smooth fight for me. I expect quite a bit of athlete out of him in the first couple of minutes, but he’ll slow down with the pressure.”
Ogden said the grappling is “obviously” the path of least resistance to beating Torres, a representative of Mexico. “Samurai Ghost” said he himself is a very good and experienced grappler, while Torres is not.
“I think he just got his purple belt,” Ogden said. “He comes from Mexico. They don’t wrestle in Mexico. I’m not dealing with a guy who has an extensive wrestling background, extensive jiu-jitsu background or probably great cardio. If I keep this in the context of grappling, he might even feel amateurish to me.”
Ogden said he would not be surprised if he finishes Torres in the first round of their lightweight contest.
“If I can take him down in the first round with a couple of minutes on the clock, I wouldn’t expect him to get out of there,” he said. “But I’m prepared to go 15 [minutes] hard if I have to. I’ve been in a lot of three-round fights, which means I’ve been in a lot of competitive fights. If I’m fighting into the third round in a competitive situation, and you’ve been in a competitive situation with somebody for 10 to 15 minutes, I have a lot of experience in that, and he has none. You learn a lot about yourself in those moments. He’s real short on cage time. If he’s got all first-round finishes, that tells me that he has not fought a lot of competitive fights, and I wouldn’t expect him to be getting me out of there in a couple of minutes.”
With the edge in grappling, Ogden said he thinks he will submit Torres. It’s hard to pick a round, however, he said.
“I would not be surprised if I submit him in the first round. I also wouldn’t be surprised if I have to use the first round to get the athlete out of him. I will say he will be submitted in under 10 minutes. But brother, fighting is fighting, so who knows? I try not to need the finish. Here’s another thing: Torres, my guess, has massive anxiety about Round 2. You don’t get tired in Round 1. You get tired on the stool in between Rounds 1 and 2 when you process you’re in a competitive fight. Of course, I’m focused on the finish and the outcome. I only think about the process to get there, because I don’t want to need something. I don’t want to need to finish him in the first or second. I don’t want to need to take Manuel Torres to the ground. I just want to be present with the opponent, present with myself and the patterns, and just stay focused on staying in position, doing the correct things moment by moment, and winning the transitions and the fight.”
Ogden enters the bout as an underdog for his second fight in a row. He was a moderate +310 underdog in his unanimous decision win over another Mexican product in Daniel Zellhuber. He is currently +160 opposite Torres, a -200 favorite.
Ogden said he expected to be the underdog going into the scrap against Torres.
“I never get the respect I probably deserve,” he said. “How can you watch the Zellhuber fight and then put me as an underdog in this fight? These guys who make you the underdog or the favorite, they don’t know fighting. These aren’t educated people. If you watch fighting, this is different from studying. I’m on the mat 6 to 10 hours a day every day. I know almost every transition of fighting; every technique and tactic. I don’t even listen to these people who make their little YouTube videos, their little predictions. Case in point, after the Zellhuber fight.
“I knew I would be the underdog after I lost that split decision to Jordan Leavitt,” Ogden continued. “You’ll be the underdog probably for the rest of your life as your punishment for that. I just stayed off the Internet, just like I will this time, until after the fight. After I beat Zellhuber, I just put in ‘Trey Ogden-Zellhuber prediction’ on YouTube, and I watched every single video. Everyone who made a video. These guys are dumb. They pull my record up, they put his record up, and then they make a prediction based on what they’re seeing on paper. They’re not looking at my old fights on Fight Pass. They don’t know my journey. They don’t understand. I don’t take it personal. I don’t care at all. I don’t respect their predictions at all. They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Ogden said he wouldn’t care if he enters a fight as a favorite either: He is simply focused on the pattern of the fight and tendencies of his opponent.
The location is not a factor for him, either.
“I don’t care if it’s in an arena or the Apex. I don’t care if it’s in my backyard or the gym. I don’t care what people think, I don’t care who’s watching, I don’t care where you train. All I’m looking at are your patterns, my patterns, and the patterns that I think are going to beat you the best. Then I hone in on those patterns, and that’s what I’ll be ready for.”
Ogden said studying Zellhuber’s patterns allowed him to map his game out ahead of the fight. Ogden would point at Zellhuber’s left leg when his foe switched stances in his last bout.
“I knew his game better than he knows his game,” Ogden said. “I patterned his whole game, and that’s why I kept pointing at him. I see what you’re going to do before you do it. I’m a pattern guy. I’m a martial arts scientist; not an athlete.”
That knowledge of the science behind MMA makes him elite, Ogden said. The 21-professional fight veteran prides himself on the level of competition he fought on the regional scene.
“This is what I was saying about Zellhuber: ‘Who’s he fighting? He’s 12-0 but against who?’ Same thing with Manuel Torres,” Ogden said. “Who has he beaten who’s actually notable? [Kolton Englund] in the Contender Series is nothing like me. That kid is nothing like me. And he got poked in the eye and then head kicked, so whatever. Frank Camacho is not an elite competitor. I think I proved I present unique challenges to [Torres]. I think I present unique challenges to anybody who I fight. I don’t think of myself as a dark horse in the division, as a favorite in the division, as a popular fighter or an unpopular fighter. I truly, truly don’t care what anybody thinks of me. I am trying to stall the study of fighting all day, every day for over a decade. I own a gym and have about 25 fighters under me. My fight team is crushing it and has been and has been for about three years.”
Ogden leads Marathon MMA, where teammates Mike Breeden and Miles Johns are fellow UFC fighters. He also expects three of his undefeated prospects to be joining them in the Octagon by 2024: Alejandro Gomez, Zach Scroggin and Nick Meck.
“My ultimate vision is for me to be winning fights in the UFC simultaneous to my team winning fights in the UFC,” Ogden said.
“Samurai Ghost” himself has the goal of going 3-0 in the UFC in 2023. He has also gotten back into jiu-jitsu competitions. He took gold in the Dallas IBJJF Open no-gi blackbelt adult division competition and hopes to stay active on that circuit. In addition to piling up UFC wins, he hopes to make a run at the no-gi Worlds this year.
“I care about my team. I care about the members of my gym, I care about my family, and I care about nothing else,” Ogden said. “I don’t mean to sound cold. If you get around me, I’m a very nice guy. I talk about narratives a lot. Narratives and drama sell fights. Techniques, tactics, and endurance win fights. I focus on techniques, tactics, and endurance. Narratives are what everyone wants to talk about to get excited about fights. I don’t care if anyone is excited about me fighting or not. All I want to do is go execute my pattern, get closer to my technique, get closer to my warrior spirit, make a kill and go home.”
Ogden will look to defeat Torres at UFC San Antonio, which goes down from the AT&T Center starting Saturday afternoon. Ogden and Torres are currently slated for the prelims, which are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET on both ESPN and ESPN+. Marlon “Chito” Vera and Cory Sandhagen are set to headline the card in a bantamweight contest between highly-ranked competitors.
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