When Titan Fighting Championship signed Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres in late 2015, it was clear they were signing a mixed martial artist of huge potential. Considered the world’s top amateur fighter by virtually all credible metrics, 24 year old Torres closed out his pre-professional career with an outstanding 25-1 record. His sole defeat, for the record, came by split decision in his very first bout. Since then, Torres has rattled off 29 consecutive victories, 4 of them in the professional ranks.
Regarding that 25-1 record, the integrity of competition levels could not be any more robust. The first ever two-time world champion in the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), Torres was in the right place at the right time in order to comprehensively conquer the amateur ranks. The IMMAF held it’s inaugural World Championships in 2014; Jose Torres would enter the bantamweight tournament, and speaks of the competition with a genuine reverence:
“The IMMAF for me was a very intimidating tournament because it is the closest thing to the Olympics as it can get. You have national champions from every country, [and you have] pro level guys in the amateur ranks trying to prove they are the best in the world. It was a game changer for me,” he says, adding “It made me train harder because I knew the [size of the] challenge ahead of me.”
Torres met opponents from Romania, Finland, Ukraine, and, in the finals, the United Kingdom. Carl Burton, now a 2-0 professional fighter in his own right, offered Torres a tough battle – but the final would conclude with ‘Shorty’ having his hand raised, a scenario the pair would see repeated when Torres enrolled in 2015. Once again enrolling at bantamweight, this time Torres and Burton would meet in the first round, with an identical outcome. Torres would proceed via decision, before besting opposition from Belgium, Northern Ireland, and Kazakhstan. By now, the competition in the IMMAF World Championships was getting more and more fierce:
“The IMMAF grew with more and more countries joining, and the talent has gotten much better. I saw and felt the difference from my first to second year and I see [that improvement continuing] now as a spectator. More and more countries are taking this even more seriously, and it will continue to get better and stronger every year.”
Speaking on whether he would recommend amateurs competing in the IMMAF World Championships, Torres adds: “The IMMAF is great for amateur fighters. It gives you the best possible look [ahead] at what you might face as a pro. It has professional-level fighters [competing in] the amateur ranks but, the best thing is as an amateur is, losing is a learning experience to better prepare you as a pro. It has helped me a lot and has better prepared me now as a pro. There is nothing more any amateur could ask for.”
If ever evidence was required to back up Torres’ high praise for the international tournaments put on by the IMMAF, you just have to look at his pro career to date. After a couple of false starts, ‘Shorty’ finally debuted for Florida’s Titan FC in March 2016. 13 months on, Torres holds the Titan FC Flyweight title, remains undefeated, and will face the Titan FC Bantamweight champion come May 19 in a bid to become a two-division champion. This will be Torres’ fifth pro fight.
Already besting some of the toughest international stars outside the top three or four MMA organizations, Torres has wasted no time cementing his status as not only the best amateur fighter the world had seen, but a genuine blue-chip prospect with outstanding potential going forward.
Farkhad Sharipov (17-7) will have his hands full come Titan FC 44…
Speaking of his time with Titan FC, Torres states: “They signed me because of my amateur record and accolades and they have taken care of me ever since. Titan FC gave me some great challenges with my first two opponents and because of that I’ve been able to show my skill and be better respected as a pro.”
Travis Taylor would be Torres’ first opponent, a fellow professional debutant and former amateur champion fighting out of Delray Beach, Florida. The fight lasted 2:09, with Torres clamping on a fight-ending guillotine choke to force the tap and clinch a debut win. Brazilian Reynaldo Duarte would be next, a 16-fight veteran training out of American Top Team, with 12 years experience in the sport. This time, Torres would be pushed the distance – but the judge’s verdicts in, there would be no upset; Jose Torres had his hand raised as the recipient of a Unanimous Decision.
A perfect 2-0, Torres would next find himself propelled towards title glory in only his third pro fight. Puerto Rican stand out Abdiel Velazquez (then 7-2) had recently bested Cuban ace Alexis Vila under the Titan FC banner, and would look to claim the vacant Titan FC Flyweight title at ‘Shorty’s’ expense. Despite an aggressive start from Velazquez, Torres remained unphased, hurting Velazquez in the first round, before out-grappling his opponent and ending the round fishing for a rear naked choke; the second round was largely one-way, with Torres utilizing leg kicks to good effect before crushing his foe with two strong lefts and a heavy knee. The referee waved off the bout, giving Torres his first professional championship.
Speaking of that fight, Torres states: “The fight came about because I was a top prospect with an amateur record that has [still] never been seen before. Titan FC gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to fight for the vacant title in such a short amount of time and because of that, I’ve been able to gave some of the best competition outside of the UFC.”
Of Abdiel, Torres adds: “Abdiel velazquez was a great opponent, but I wasn’t worried about the competition. Thanks to my extensive amateur record, I was able to face many opponents like Abdiel before, which made me much more comfortable on taking the fight in such a short [period of time].”
There would be no relenting, either. Titan FC 43 would present a new opponent, a former UFC veteran with an 18-2-2 record. Brazilian Pedro ‘The Rock’ Nobre remains one of the best fighters in the lighter weight classes, with an extensive record of success in his native Brazil. Incredibly, he would last just 86 seconds as he challenged Torres for his newly-won title.
“Pedro nobre was a fight I badly wanted,” Torres explains. “I wanted to prove, not just to myself, but to everyone watching that I am a force to be reckoned with and that my amateur career was worth it. I want to inspire other amateur athletes to follow my path and get as much practice as possible, because if they do, hopefully they will have the same outcome against much more experienced opponents like I have. It was a very special moment for me!” – and every bit as poignant as Torres states!
A brutal right uppercut spelled the end for Nobre, and followed a succession of heavy right hands, knees, and body shots. This fight was as one-sided as Torres no doubt dreamed it would be.
Not even Tim Elliott, now a UFC fighter, could match the ferocity and speed of Torres’ destruction of Nobre. It’s no wonder Titan FC COO Lex McMahon would contact Dana White about a possible jump to the UFC – but given that hasn’t materialized quite yet, 4-0 Torres will now try to underline his already outstanding accomplishments as he challenges Farkhad Sharipov at Titan FC 44.
“Farkhad is another opponent that I called out because I know he will be a great challenge for me. He is bigger, stronger and much more experienced, but I know with my training and style of fighting that I will be able to put on a great show and finish him. He is another champion and because of that, I want to fight him. I dont shy away from a great battle and I know if I win, that is my UFC deal!”
With that kind of motivation, one might fear for Sharipov’s chances at Titan FC 44!
“I want to create history again, 5-0 with two belts! Never been done before and that’s my motivation for this fight. I call a 3rd round TKO.”
Well Jose, nobody here at MMA Vanguard has any doubt about that!
#WeCan #WeWill #Together #WeAre #TeamShorty