Jose Torres, former IMMAF World Champion had to decline UFC call-up

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

In 2016 Jose Torres transitioned to professional mixed martial arts as the most decorated amateur veteran in history. His claim to being the world’s top amateur competitor was backed up by an unprecedented 25-1 record having only ever lost his debut bout. The 25-year-old known as ‘Shorty’ accumulated countless regional titles in addition to winning the UMMAF national championships in 2014 and 2015.

His more high profile transition to pro MMA, under the banner of Titan FC, came following his international IMMAF triumphs as a member of team USA. Torres secured back-to-back gold medals in the Men’s bantamweight bracket of the IMMAF World Championships in both 2014 and 2015. He was the first athlete to achieve the feat of becoming a two-time IMMAF world champion.

Torres continued to make history and was the first competitor to be invited to join Titan FC’s ranks as a debut professional. Today he remains undefeated at 5-0, in addition to being the promotion’s very own ‘Champ-Champ’ having claimed both the Titan FC Flyweight and Bantamweight world championships.

On November 17 Torres will fight to defend the 135lb bantamweight crown against Gleidson DeJesus (7-2), taking place at Pembroke Pines City Center in Florida, USA.

When facing Farkhad Sharipov for the Titan FC bantamweight title on May 19, ‘Shorty’ sustained a broken hand in the opening round, plus an MCL tear. Incredibly, he went the distance to defeat Sharipov via a unanimous judge’s decision after all five rounds of action.

Ahead of the anticipated title bout, the former amateur sensation spoke to the MMA Circus and revealed how he was forced to turn down multiple call-ups to the UFC, due to injuries.

“I won the bantamweight championship and I thought it was an amazing fight, because it showed the UFC that I came back from adversity – I got exactly what I wanted, the UFC called me. The problem was a broke my hand and tore my MCL in the first round of the fight and I had to prevail and come back for four more rounds.

“Sadly, I had a four-month layoff, so even though the UFC called me four times, I couldn’t take the opportunity that I believe I deserve. Now I really want to prove to myself, not just the UFC, that I’m back 100% and a much more improved ‘Shorty’. I’m excited to show why I’m the ‘champ-champ’ and why I deserve to be in the UFC.” – Listen to the full interview HERE.

For his return from injury Torres been in at the deep end for his camp with the best that MMA has to offer in California, training alongside the likes of UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

While one IMMAF great continues his successful career at the pro level, over 250 intentional amateur standouts from 49 competing nations will look to follow in his footsteps at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships.

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 IMMAF World Championships are set to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA, and will be broadcast live via the Bahrain TV app – click HERE for more information.

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