Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres
Fighting Out Of: Chicago, Illinois
Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres is a 25-year-old Mixed Martial Artist fighting in the Flyweight division. Jose is the owner of an extensive amateur record (25-1) and an impressive professional career that has seen him capture the Flyweight and Bantamweight championships in Titan FC. It is because of these accolades that Torres is currently one of the most promising Flyweight prospects in the sport. With momentum on his side, ‘Shorty’ will be making his long-awaited UFC debut this weekend at UFC Utica. If you are a fan of high paced, action packed, fighters I implore you to watch Jose Torres take on Jarred Brooks on the Prelims of UFC Utica this weekend.
This last week must have been crazy for you, having only just got the call from the UFC. What has this whole experience been like for you?
“Oh man, it’s been overwhelming in many ways. For one, I’ve got everyone hitting me up, my phone is blowing up, it’s still going off now while we are doing this interview. People supporting me, wishing me luck and telling me how proud they are that my dreams are coming true. And then the other one is, I’m doing so many interviews, I’m now doing all this other stuff for the New York Athletic Commission. I’m doing so many more things just because it is a last minute fight. But I’m just happy to be apart of it, it’s an amazing experience.”
You are stepping in to face a really solid opponent in Jarred Brooks, what kind of fight are you expecting and how do you see yourself getting this done?
“It’s 50/50. The guy has a fun mouth but it’s different when he fights. I think he is a very good fighter when he wants to be but that depends on the type of fighter he fights. He is going against me, I am very forward and that is something that he does not like and he has never faced an actual wrestler before that has this sort of background. Me, I’m an all American wrestler and I know how to strike at the same time so I believe it is going to be a second-round TKO and it is going to be a fun spectacle to watch. Either way.”
I think that is going to work to your advantage in this fight because he (Jarred Brooks) seems to be ending up in these close split decisions. I think facing someone like you who is going to push the fight to him and defend the wrestling is going to take him out of his comfort zone.
“Yeah, I think so. He has always fought great stand up fighters who don’t have much wrestling. Now he is actually fighting a legit wrestler who has good stand up. So for me wrestling is pretty much my base in MMA and it just so happens I’m kinda like a Justin Gaethje in that I want to strike more than wrestle. I just use my wrestling as a backup. If he can’t take me down or can’t keep me down, well he is going to have a serious problem. And he is known to gas out, for me that is an advantage. I always push the pace and my last five fights have all been title fights, so I’ve been going five x five-minute rounds. I know I can just keep going. So I’m just excited to see what happens.”
Do you see being a late replacement as an advantage or disadvantage for you in this fight?
“It goes both ways. It’s a disadvantage because even though I’m a natural Flyweight I was getting ready to fight for my third championship at 145lbs for Titan FC just because I didn’t know what was going happen or if the UFC was interested anymore. I was getting ready for a 145lbs championship and my body was blowing up. So back to the fight, you know I’m not the biggest fan of it because I have to cut weight. A little bit more weight than usual being that it’s a last minute thing. But it is also great for me because my opponent doesn’t have to get ready for me, he’s not as prepared. For me and my fighting style, you really not just want but need a training camp to prepare for. Not just because of my style but because of my pace, it’s something that people get worried about because they know I can take them the distance and that’s where I’m gonna strive the most.”
I’m sure you will have the weight cut under control, but is that something that is worrying you with such a short notice call-up?
“When I originally got offered this fight, I turned it down because I wasn’t a fan of it, because of the big weight cut. I’m just not a fan of last-minute weight cuts and I wouldn’t call this an extreme weight cut but just overall losing a lot of weight in a small amount of time is just not my thing. I want to perform to the best of my ability. But I hung up the phone, talked to my family, my team. And my nutritionist ‘Lou Trition’ was 100% a go, he was extremely confident that I could make the weight and he is 100% the reason why I am taking this fight. Because if he believes I can do it then I’m more than happy to do it and perform at my best.”
Opportunities like this don’t come up often enough to be able to turn them down, so that’s amazing that you were able to take the fight and be confident enough in your team to accept it.
“Yeah, it’s actually really amazing to be able to go from “sure whatever man I’ll take it” and you know I wasn’t the happiest about it. And then I’m getting all this feedback, people finding out I got signed to the UFC before I even found out and I’m just like ‘wow okay’. There are posters made about Jarred Brooks and myself and the UFC is making posters. ‘Oh, I didn’t know about this yet’. So it’s really cool to see how fast the news spread and just how many people are behind me and supporting me.”
I have seen a lot of positive support for you since the fight was announced. That must be a great motivator heading into this fight.
“It’s an amazing thing to know. I always say my biggest model for fighting is ‘we can, we will, together, we are, team shorty’ without that and everyone’s support I wouldn’t be where I am at today. I wouldn’t be anywhere close to being able to achieve what I have achieved without everyone supporting me. Not just sponsors and stuff like that but just overall everything people do for me. It motivates me and pushes me forward and it means the world to me.”
You are fighting in a division so clearly dominated by one man. When you are training and preparing for fights, now in the UFC, are you always going to have him (Demetrious Johnson) in the back of your mind or are you the type of guy who only focuses on what’s in front of you?
“I usually try my best to just look at what’s in front of me but I always, sadly, like to overlook my opponents. That’s just who I am, I like to game plan and figure out things for the future a lot sooner. Right now I am just looking at Jarred Brooks but I can say now that I am officially a UFC fighter, I do think about the fact that DJ is one step closer. That’s the biggest thing. Now I am in the same organisation as the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world. It would be an honour just to be able to fight one of the greatest alive, not just in my division but in the sport.”
You have had the chance to train with some outstanding fighters, I know you have worked with TJ Dillashaw, Jake Ellenberger and those guys as well as all the amazing fighters at ATT (American Top Team). Of all the fighters you have had the chance to train with, who is someone that has managed to impress you every time?
“Oh man, I’ve had so many phenomenal spars, whether it’s actual sparring or just having fun or them teaching in the practice room. I mean, Khabib, Islam Makhachev, Jake Ellenberger, TJ Dillashaw, John Dodson, Diego Sanchez, Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez… I’m trying to figure out more, there’s BJ Penn, I mean the list goes on of guys I’ve been able to not only spar with but help and for them to help me. I think that all the stuff these guys have been able to do for me is why I am the person I am today in the way that I fight. It’s a game changer. I’ve been able to go with so many great fighters and they have all slowly, in a sense, moulded me into the person I am today, in the cage.”
It’s amazing that you have been so lucky with these opportunities, I think you’ve pretty much trained with everyone that is around your size and one of the best in the world. That must be such an incredible asset for you.
“It’s been an amazing time man. I’ve sparred with around 75% of the UFC Flyweight division and around the same in the UFC Bantamweight division and plenty of guys from the other sizes. I mean Khabib is one of the reasons I got signed to Titan FC in the first place. You know it’s crazy how just training with some of these guys can even get you a contract.”
Who is someone that inspires you?
“It’s crazy, I don’t look up to many people but there is one person I do consider a hero or consider a huge role model. For me, my biggest role model’s were cartoons like Dragon Ball Z with Goku and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ white ranger but I had no-one in real life until I was 16 when I found my coach that I still have today. No matter where I travel around the world, he is always my head coach and that’s Master Bob Schirmer. He has lived an amazing life, whether that’s being in the military or growing up with the struggles that I had and still no matter what traveling, training and doing what he needed to do to be successful. Now being able to give back and having his own gym for 25 years, teaching kids like myself and literally saving their lives and giving them something that can change their whole perspective on things. That man and what he does, not just for me but for all the kids around the gym, it’s the whole thing and it is something that I aspire to be. Master Bob Schirmer is my head coach, mentor, best friend and is definitely my hero.”