As sports fans, we’ve all heard the phrase “win and you’re in.” As an example, all college basketball teams need to do in March is win their conference tournament, and they get into the NCAA Tournament for a chance to win the national championship.
Titan FC flyweight champion Jose “Shorty” Torres spoke to the UFC recently. The proposition also seemed pretty straightforward: win and you’re in. If he was able to successfully defend his title against Pedro Nobre at Titan FC 43 in January, he believed he would get the call that every fighter dreams of receiving. Turns out, he was wrong.
Torres did, in fact, defend his belt in impressive fashion. He knocked out Nobre in the first round, improving his record to 4-0. Torres considered his jump to the UFC all but a formality. He was under the impression he did everything the UFC wanted him to do. Apparently, this wasn’t the case.
“They wanted to see me in more fights and wanted to see me struggle,” Torres told Combat Press. “I’ve been defending my belt against some of the best flyweight guys outside of the UFC and I really thought I was going to the UFC, so to be told they didn’t want me was heartbreaking.”
So Torres thought to himself, “What do I do now?”
He decided to borrow a ploy from UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor to expedite his trip to the UFC. The Titan flyweight titleholder will seek to become a double champion by facing Farkhad Sharipov, who holds a 16-7 mark, for the Titan FC bantamweight title on Friday, May 19, at Titan FC 44.
“My next opponent can make me struggle in a champion-vs.-champion match-up,” Torres said. “It’s a great calling card to fight an opponent who’s bigger and stronger. But I’ve fought at 135 pounds before, and even though I’ve always been shorter, I train to be more explosive.”
To prepare for his fight with Sharipov, Torres has trained with former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
“I go 100 percent with everything I do,” Torres said. “I’m a phenomenal athlete and I can test my skills against one of the best fighters around. I don’t care how big you are, speed kills — just like one of my role models, Manny Pacquiao.”
It’s nothing new for Torres to test himself against the best. He compiled an amateur MMA record of 25-1 and won multiple titles while competing in organizations like the United States Mixed Martial Arts Federation and the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. In addition to his accomplishments thus far in MMA, Torres was also a junior college All-American in wrestling, an International Kickboxing Federation champion and a Thai Boxing Association champion.
“Whoever has the most practice is the most prepared,” Torres said. “It’s like the person who has the best resume gets the job. My coach wanted me to fight as much as possible, and I fought so many different styles. I’ve been fighting all my life against the toughest guys to help prepare for the big crowds. A lot of guys fail in their UFC debut because of culture shock, but I feel I will be way more comfortable.”
Torres is hopeful for a “five-round war” with Sharipov. He is “very, very confident” about his chances, too. Perhaps then, he’ll get the call he’s been waiting for.
“[I’m] really relying on this to get me to the UFC,” said Torres. “So if the UFC doesn’t call after this, I’ll see it as a little bit of disrespect. This will be the first time in Titan history that someone is holding two belts.”