On April 19, UFC veteran Jose “Shorty” Torres (8-1) will be taking on undefeated Swede Amir Albazi at BRAVE CF 23.
“Shorty” was one of the first flyweights to be cut by the UFC when they announced their initial purge of the 125-pound division. The decision left fans and media stunned as Torres only had two fights under the promotion, winning one of them. Despite the lack of time on the big stage, he is a highly decorated and respected fighter, who held the flyweight and bantamweight titles for Titan Fighting Championship. As an amateur, he was 12-0, competing multiple times in the IMMAF World Championships.
The Body Lock’s Michael Fiedel spoke with Jose Torres at American Top Team’s media day, in which he previewed his upcoming bout with Albazi, assuring that it will be a spectacle.
“It’s honestly a standup versus a ground fighter and it is a really fun fight for my return. [April 19th] would’ve been eight months since I got back in there.”
For the past year, “Shorty” has been training at the world renowned American Top Team, in Coconut Creek, Florida. On top of this, the flyweight has been training at gyms such as Rofusport, gathering as much knowledge as possible. However, he remains adamant that his head coach will remain the same.
“I’m part of Combat-Do with Bob Schirmer. That’s always my head coach, but we just don’t have the bodies. My coaches are amazing but we just don’t have the bodies to keep me at the level I wanna be at, so, I come down to American Top Team. The bodies here [are] relentless, there’s an abundant amount of guys”
American Top Team is home to some of the world’s best fighters, something Torres can vouch for.
“I’ll train with Kyoji [Horiguchi], [Alexandrjo] Pantoja, Eric Shelton, [Jussier] Formiga – the number one flyweight in the UFC – and a bunch of other guys.”
“[John] Lineker’s here, who is literally knocking people out in practice sometimes, so the abundance of guys here, even the coaches, are amazing.”
Although his head coach is remaining the same, “Shorty” has worked with many world class coaches, one of these being Din Thomas – a former UFC athlete with nine octagon appearances.
“Right now I’m working with Din Thomas, not just on the physical side but mental side. And even the last camp I was getting ready for the fight originally and he was training Woodley so I ended up going to Rofusport and working with them for a little bit.”
Jose Torres was orginally scheduled to face his current opponent, Amir Albazi, at BRAVE 22 on March 15. Nonetheless, “Shorty” withdrew due to an undisclosed injury, further delaying his debut for BRAVE. When asked about his withdrawal, the former Titan two-weight champion revealed some unknown information.
“It said undisclosed injury but one of the biggest things is that I ended up getting extremely, extremely sick for about two weeks. I was very close to weight, so I don’t want people going ‘oh it was weight’ – I never missed weight because that’s never a thing.”
He mentions that he wants the best fight possible with Albazi, which was another reason why the fight was postponed.
“I don’t wanna give Amir Albazi a handicap type of fight, I wanna give him 100 percent me and I want him to do the same thing back, so BRAVE was happy to oblige.”
Amateur MMA and charity work
Jose Torres is a huge advocate for amateur mixed martial arts. He fought under the amateur promotion IMMAF, and went to watch the organization recently when they were invited to Bahrain by BRAVE. When asked about the amateur competition on the circuit in 2019, “Shorty” gave nothing but praise.
“If I competed as an amateur when I won, at the same time this is [going on] right now, I wouldn’t even be close competing to these guys. These guys are a whole other level which is why I say IMMAF is pro-level guys at the amateur ranks, and I think every amateur should take part in it.”
On top of being a mixed martial arts role model, Torres has his own charity, dedicated to keeping kids off the street.
“[I] just started my ‘Team Shorty foundation’ – all my gear, all my apparel, a hundred percent of the proceeds go to the ‘Team Shorty foundation’ to keep kids off the street to inside the gym. I’ve been able to sponsor four, soon to be five, amateur athletes coming up trying to be like myself, if not that much better.”
Jose’s charity work highlights the content of his character – a genuine, down-to-earth person, who wants to make a difference.
Jose “Shorty” Torres is scheduled to face Amir Albazi at BRAVE 23, April 19 in Amman, Jordan.
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.