Ahead of his return to the cage in the main event of Brave CF 55, flyweight Jose Torres has inked a new multi-fight deal with the organization and admits genuine respect — something he says he didn’t get in the UFC — played a major role in extending his stay for five more bouts.
“I just signed a five-fight deal with Brave,” Torres told MixedMartialArts.com. “For me, I re-signed a deal immediately on purpose, because I’ve never been treated this good, besides in Titan FC. One, I get paid more than I did in the UFC, so kudos to that, and two, it’s the respect factor. If something happens, I can talk to the higher-ups. In my last promotion, I couldn’t talk to the matchmakers. I couldn’t talk to Dana White.”
Torres, 29, was one of several 125-pound fighters released from the UFC during a purge of a division many assumed the promotion would soon be shuttering. However, that never happened and “Shorty” was only given limited chances in the promotion. Splitting his two bouts in the Octagon.
Jose Torres talks being treated ‘like crap’ in the UFC
The UFC’s loss became a major gain for Brave CF. As they picked Torres up late in 2018, and he has been a pivotal building block in their flyweight division, and in growing the brand’s audience with US fans. His treatment as he enters his second main event spot with promotion has been a stark contrast to what he encountered in the UFC. A place where he felt dismissed as a talent in a division the promotion did not see much star potential in at the time.
“Looking at it, especially for the small guys, I had accolades that were never even reached at any other weight class entering the UFC, and I was still treated like crap,” said Torres. “But if I was in any other weight class, if I was a bantamweight, a lightweight, anywhere in the middle, I would have been treated much better. I would have been showcased.”
For many fighters outside the UFC, and even talents cut by the organization, competing inside the Octagon is the promised land. However, after his previous experiences and how he has been welcomed by Brave CF, Torres does not have much interest in a UFC return. Not only because he knows his current home will do all they can to make him a star in the sport, but he feels he doesn’t need to return to the Octagon to prove that he can hang with the best in the world. He says he already knows he can.
“I know I can beat a bunch of guys in the UFC. I’ve trained with most of those guys. I used to train with [current UFC flyweight champion] Brandon Moreno, Joseph Benavidez, all these other guys that are at the top level of the sport. So I know where I stand. Let me do it somewhere else. Let me flourish somewhere else,” Torres says. “If UFC calls, it’s like a bad relationship. You’ve got to work out some stuff, and [they’ve] really got to prove to me that I’m gonna be respected this time, compared to me going back in and falling for the same trap. I’m not interested in the name anymore.”
Torres has serious respect for Brave CF 55 opponent Ali Bagautinov
Torres admits that not having the global brand strength of the UFC behind him can be frustrating, but it also gives him the motivation to put forth strong performances that can help further the Brave CF brand. Especially, in the US. His bout on Saturday, Nov. 6 can certainly help in that mission.
In the Brave CF 55 headliner, he will face a fellow UFC alum Ali Bagautinov in the semifinals of a tournament to crown a new flyweight champion. Bagautinov is an underrated talent that has gone the distance with world champions, and elite talents like Demetrious Johnson, Benavidez, and Kyoji Horiguchi during his career.
In April, Torres was cage side for the Russian’s quarterfinal matchup with Dustin Ortiz. The Chicago-native assumed Ortiz, another Octagon veteran, would defeat his older opponent. However, he was stunned to see “Puncher” was still quite dangerous at 36, and he expects to have his hands full on fight night against him.
“He’s had almost 30 fights. He’s fought some of the best of the best, and survived the best of the best. Even DJ, the best in the world could not finish him. He’s an animal that just keeps walking forward. Does he die out, does he have flaws, yea, like everyone else but he is a very smart fighter,” he said.
“I had to commentate his last fight against Dustin Ortiz. And I actually thought Dustin was gonna win. Dustin was #3 in the world, just lost to Joseph Benavidez, he was at the top of the sport. And watching it, I was [thinking], ‘Ali’s past his prime. he’s done,’ and just seeing the wrestling scrambles that he had, you could just see the confidence in his face. I was like, damn, that’s experience. … I was like, I’ve got to fight this guy next?”
Brave CF 55 takes place this Saturday in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, and will air exclusively on BraveCFTV.com.