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Jose “Shorty” Torres: Trials, Tribulations & Triumphs

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BRAVE Combat Federation 55 is in Rostov on Don, Russia, on Saturday, November 6, where Jose “Shorty” Torres fights Ali Bagautinov in the last semi-final bracket of the BRAVE Flyweight Tournament.

With a win, he will fight Velimurad Alkhasov for the inaugural BRAVE flyweight championship.

Founded in 2016, BRAVE CF was established with a vision to reform the MMA industry from an event business to a sports business and give opportunities to fighters and the entire industry around the world regardless of marketability, language, nationality or religion. The founder’s vision believed that talent should be the only variable. 

Born in the Southside of Chicago, McKinley Park neighbourhood on August 2, 1992, to parents Jose Orlando Torres and Irma Maria Torres, Jose Angel Torres announced himself to the world and his older brother Jose Orlando Torres Jr. Who was 8 yrs older than baby Jose.

Growing up in a dangerous neighbourhood and being the son of a Harrison gent, whose father was born into purple and black (gang colours), it was naturally in Shorty’s blood, and that shadow always followed him.

“I was labelled as my father’s son, so naturally, I didn’t have to be initiated, I was technically in the gang, and still today, you could say I’m technically in the gang.

“I never represented or did anything bad, and I never did anything illegal, I never did anything to get me in trouble because that was never my life; it was my father’s life. 

 “It just so happened that because I was always around my father, I represented my father and his colours, which also happened to represent the gang. I always got into a lot of trouble and had many scuffles growing up, but I represent my father; I don’t represent the gang.

“That’s something that I always try to show the whole city of Chicago is that I’m not trying to represent a gang.  The gang raised my father, and that gave me the childhood I had, and I honestly can’t complain because I had one of the best childhoods I could have asked for, but it definitely could have been better, again, the gang life is what raised my father, and I cherish it.”

Growing up, it was Shorty’s mum who kept the household together. 

“My mom is the smartest person in our family and the most independent person I know. 

“She is the reason why I am so smart, independent and even athletic; I get most of my attributes from her.  My mom and I are very identical and just naturally very strong. She’s the person I keep fighting for today to give her a more peaceful life, hopefully.”

Shorty’s older brother Torres Jr had a very different life compared to Shorty.  Being eight years older, the Torres family never had much money and less so for babysitters, so Torres Jr became the rebel of the family and neglected his father.

“My dad treated him [Torres Jr] so badly growing up, he was forced to do a lot of labour and be beaten up if he hadn’t done said chores right, or because my dad was just mad. 

“My dad wasn’t the best father growing up. He had his ups and downs, but he didn’t have a father that raised him, so he didn’t know best. 

“He is the best big brother I could have, the good, bad big brother like ‘here I did all the bad things so don’t do this, you should go left instead of right because I went right, and it didn’t go well – (a little chuckle). So go left.’  So, he made all the proper mistakes so I could succeed, and he made sure of that.”

“My older brother is my biggest hype man.”

Aged 22, Torres Jr was jumped, and someone made an attempt on his life by hitting him with a baseball bat in the back of the head twice: “He practically bled out, and his brain almost exploded in his head.  He now has traumatic brain injury (TBI), and he is deaf on one side of his ear.”

Torres Jr was no stranger to getting into trouble; after all, it was the only way of life he ever knew and was ever shown by his father.

When Torres Jr was 31, he was stabbed multiple times in the stomach, arms, and other places and bled out so much that he lost 16 pints of blood and had to have a blood transfusion.  He died twice and was resuscitated twice and thankfully is still alive today, although he is technically physically disabled, to a certain extent.

“My brother got into lots of fights in Chicago, and he was into graffiti which in Chicago is almost like gangs. My brother is very much a graffiti legend, and he’s phenomenal at it and still does it today; however, back in the day, he had a lot of wars.

“He went through a lot of bad stuff, traumatic stuff to make it out, but he succeeded, he is now a family man with three children (1 from a previous relationship) and gets to live his life through me, and it has been a journey.

“A lot of my fights have been for him because I’ve never been a fan of fighting or a huge person about it, but he’s always wanted to be a professional athlete, and this allows me to do this for him.

“I’m his little big brother. I’m the little brother that takes care of him. Without me, he would be in a tough place, so I push through to keep him motivated and keep him pushing forward.”

“If you’re ever in Chicago and see the tag name DTEK, that’s my brother.”

Despite the chaotic life Shorty was born into, by the age of 4, he started training in Shotokan Karate. His mother would travel around the country so Shorty could compete in the national Karate competitions.

“My dad was very aggressive, either playing fighting with us or actually beating us.  He had a hard time raising us, and we learned the rough way to defend ourselves.  Plus, with my brother being 8 yrs. older, I always had to be on my toes. I started Shotokan Karate at the age of 4 but was made to fight before then.

“My dad was a street fighter and a good boxer.  So, I always leaned more towards boxing and toughness.  The grit of all Latinos (Puerto Rican and Mexican), so I always needed to defend myself and could never back down.”

When ‘Shorty’ was 16, he began training with legendary hall of fame coach Bob Schirmer, and still does to this day, founder of Combat-Do. Master Bob taught Shorty the arts of Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Boxing, Kickboxing, Pankration, San Shou, Muay Thai, and Wrestling. As a result, Shorty secured a full university scholarship for his wrestling and merit.

‘Shorty’ became a world champion aged 21, is a two-time IMMAF Bantamweight Gold Medallist (2014-2015) and went 25 – 1 in his amateur career.

His first loss was his first amateur fight in which he lost via a split decision. Since then, ‘Shorty’ continued his amateur career with a 25-win streak.

With a resume like that, ‘Shorty’ had offers to turn pro. But, instead, he chose college and a wrestling scholarship to Division II McKendree University over getting into the paid ranks.

“I graduated high school and college with a bachelor’s degree in Leadership and sports and exercise science.  I graduated from McKendree University on a full-ride and was part of the national honours’ society.  I played too much in high school but became serious with it once I went to college.”

Graduating in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Leadership and sports and exercise science, Shorty also achieved a number of awards including the; International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Championship (135lbs), 2x Gold Medallist in Pan-American Kickboxing Championships (125lbs) & Thai Boxing Association (TBA) Champion (125lbs).

Now that Shorty had finished university, he decided it was time to turn pro facing Travis Taylor in his pro debut and made the process fast, in just after the first minute, he gets a takedown and sinks in a guillotine 2:09 in R1.

That was the start of a fantastic pro career with Titan FC, with Shorty gaining the Bantamweight belt and Flyweight belt and defending them both successfully.  Shorty was the Champ Champ.  Shorty was also the first person in Titan FC to be a double champ and successfully defend his belts.

After that fight, Shorty got signed to the UFC, with his first opponent of that being Jarred Brooks.  Shorty took the win in the 2nd rnd via KO/TKO, and if you remember this fight as I do, it was due to an incredible body slam!

Shorty’s next assignment was against Alex Perez; unfortunately, that night was not his, and he received his first loss in his professional career.

After his fight with Perez, Shorty left The UFC (due to the fact at that time, the UFC were getting rid of the flyweight division, I mean even the GOAT of the flyweights Demetrious Johnson had left and gone to ONE) and signed to his current home BRAVE CF.

Aged 26, Shorty has always wanted to give back to the city of Chicago, and so he set up the “Team Shorty” foundation with 100% of the proceeds from his sales going straight to the foundation to help kids, teens, and young adults stay inside the gym and off the streets. 

On April 19, 2019, at BRAVE 23 in Amman, Jordan, Shorty debuted in BRAVE with a unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated Amir Albazi. That earned him a shot vs Marcel Adur for the inaugural BRAVE CF Flyweight title, at BRAVE CF 29, on November 15, 2019, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Shorty’s father had recently passed away, but Torres is a warrior and pressed on.

However, Shorty was in the final stages of fight preparation when his body and soul collapsed.  The fight was cancelled. Many thought his fight career was over. 

Shorty was selected for the greatest flyweight tournament in MMA history, and at BRAVE 42 in Kombat Kingdom, he fought in an epic back and forth battle against Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella, the pair fought to a draw. When “Shorty Rock” Santella was injured in training for the rematch, Torres was offered a bye but declined, choosing the warrior’s path, fighting through the tournament.

At Brave 49 in the Kombat Kingdom, he beat SBG Ireland’s Blaine O’Driscoll, and earned his way to the final semi-final fight, vs Ali “Puncher King” Bagautinov, at BRAVE Combat Federation 55.

Shorty now splits his time between Cicero, Illinois and Port St.Lucie in Flordia, residing with Din Thomas, one of his coaches at The Firm, where he currently trains with combat-do, The Goat Shed Academy, Gambler BJJ and KHK MMA.

BRAVE CF events are broadcast worldwide, delivering exclusive live events and fight and combat sports content on demand. BRAVE CF has delivered 50+ shows in 24 different countries and five continents and has hired 500+ athletes from 70+ nations across the globe, highlighting the truly global aspect of the organisation.

BRAVE Combat Federation 55 is in Rostov on Don, Russia, on Saturday, November 6, and you can watch it exclusively on www.bravecf.com for free.  The card starts at 1 pm GMT.

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Frans Mlambo Out, Arturo Vergara In For May 29 Combate Global Event

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Frans Mlambo, the number one contender in Combate Global’s bantamweight division, will be replaced by hard-hitting Arturo Vergara (2-0 MMA; 3-1 Kickboxing) of Los Andes, Chile via Miami.  Vergara will challenge Martinez of Mexico City, Mexico in a bantamweight non-title bout.

Combate Global today announced a new main event for its show on Sunday, May 29 in Miami, Fla., due to an abdominal injury sustained by Ireland’s Frans “The Zulu Irishman” Mlambo (13-5), who had been scheduled to challenge reigning Combate Global World Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion David “The Black Spartan” Martinez (6-1) for Martinez’s title.

Combate Global will announce television programming details as well as the complete fight card for the event on Tuesday, May 24.

“We wish Frans a full and speedy recovery,” said Combate Global CEO Campbell McLaren, “and are excited to debut Chile’s Arturo Vergara, who is coming off an incredible, nine-second knockout!  I have a lot of respect for Arturo stepping up because David Martinez is as tough an opponent as they come.”

Unbeaten to date under MMA rules, Vergara produced a stunning, nine-second knockout via a flying knee strike of Cody Schieve on May 6. The speedy win followed another first round (2:21) TKO (strikes) that Vergara notched in his MMA rules debut against Steven Orozco on February 19.

Prior to his first MMA start, Vergara had competed exclusively under kickboxing rules, amassing over 80 bouts as an amateur, and a 3-1 record as a professional. The 23-year-old Martinez of Mexico City will enter La Jaula, the Combate Global competition cage, for the first time since he was crowned world champion one year ago, on May 29, 2021.

A member of Team Bonebreakers, Martinez defeated three consecutive opponents – including championship round adversary Francisco “Cisco” Rivera, Jr. via second round (0:17) TKO (head kick and punches) – in one night, to become world champion.

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UFC London | 5 Fighters Who Have To Be On The Card

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Immediately after UFC London earlier in the year, the ball started rolling towards a second UK event in 2022 after Dana White made it clear he wanted to come back soon. Whilst the year’s first event at the O2 Arena delivered one of the best non-PPV events in recent history, there’s still more ground to cover. Aspinall vs Volkov was stacked with home fighters but there are still a handful that missed out on fighting in front of the UK.

Here are five UK fighters that deserve a chance to fight at the O2 Arena after missing out the first time. Not that we’re complaining if the likes of Paddy Pimblett and Jai Herbert show up on this card also.

5. Dom Wooding

Yes it is true, we will never stop banging this drum. After defending his Cage Warriors bantamweight title in December of last year, we had our fingers crossed that London would come around in time for Dom Wooding. The ‘Black Panther’ didn’t get the call up on that occasion but absence has only made the heart grow fonder. This is the time for Dom Wooding to fight in the UFC and if you don’t believe us, maybe ‘The Last Stylebender’ can change your mind.

4. Mason Jones

Mason ‘The Dragon’ Jones has had quite a stop and start UFC career since joining the promotion as a double champion in Cage Warriors. The Welshman is 1-1-1 in the UFC so far and would have picked up some decent momentum if his fight with Alan Patrick hadn’t been stopped due to an accidental eye poke in a fight he was winning comfortably. A win over late notice replacement David Onama, who recently picked up a first UFC win of his own, has got Jones back on the right path after a tough introduction to the UFC against Mike Davis. Jones always delivers great fights due to his high pressure and output style and a win in London could be exactly the kind of moment he needs to really put the past behind him and push on in the UFC.

3. Lerone Murphy

For the vast majority of UK fight fans, Lerone Murphy came out of nowhere when he debuted in the UFC. Now on a 3-fight win streak after his debut resulted in a draw at UFC 242, Murphy has been putting on increasingly impressive performances every time he has stepped foot in the Octagon. Still yet to fight in front of UK fans, ‘The Miracle’ will have a huge fight on his hands in his next outing as he looks to step foot in the rankings of the stacked featherweight division.

2. Davey Grant

Davey Grant has really made a name for himself in recent times as a must watch fighter who will steal a main card. After chaining back-to-back finishes, Grant may have lost two of his last three fights but his stock in the UFC has risen massively. His fights with Marlon Vera and Adrian Yanez put Grant on the map when it comes to value for money fighters. Now back in the win column after his 3rd round finish over Louis Smolka at the weekend, Grant said in his post fight interview about making a quick turn around and potentially fighting in London. We know we are asking for a lot with the card already being incredibly busy but Davey Grant opening the main card with a barnburner is sure to blow the roof off of the O2 just like the last time the UFC came calling.

1. Nathaniel Wood

Luck has not been on Nathaniel Wood’s side as of late. Three cancelled fights in a row meant he missed out on the first London card even after he was found a replacement opponent. An illness forced Vince Morales out of their bout which seemed to be opening the event and setting the tone for the evening with the return of ‘The Prospect’ in front of his people. After going 4-2 as a bantamweight in the UFC but losing to two top fighters in John Dodson and Casey Kenney, Wood has announced he is moving up a weight class since his fight in London fell off. Nathaniel Wood deserves this chance to fight in London after losing out at such short notice last time around and we can’t wait to see how he stacks up amongst the rest of the 145 pound division.

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Fight To Watch | Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson

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Fights are being booked fast and furiously for July 23rd as the UFC’s anticipated return to London approaches. With fireworks expected throughout the whole event, MMAPlay365 and VMTV have scoured through the card and selected Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson as our ‘Fight To Watch’ on the night.

Muhammad Mokaev returns to the octagon following a successful debut back at UFC London in March against Cody Durden. ‘The Punisher’ made light work of his American counter-part, submitting him in the first round via guillotine choke with very little problems. His upcoming opponent, Charles Johnson, signs with the UFC after an impressive four-fight winning streak on LFA, which saw him capture and defend flyweight gold.

His ability to mix it up on the feet and in grappling scenarios make this a much more dangerous bout for Mokaev stylistically, but it’s still nothing the 21 year old won’t be able to handle in the eyes of MMAPlay365 CEO, Adam Newsome:

“At this stage of Muhammad Mokaev’s UFC career every fight is going to be a test. And just because you haven’t heard of Charles Johnson doesn’t mean he isn’t a good fighter. Johnson was the Flyweight Champion in LFA. If you aren’t familiar with LFA it’s basically the American equivalent of Cage Warriors. You are battle tested in LFA and if you become a Champion the chances are the UFC are going to sign you.

So this is a very interesting match-up but still right now I don’t think that Mokaev gets tested enough to the point he loses. This is going to be another fight I see him doing extremely well in and I don’t see Mokaev losing a fight until he hits the top 20 of the division. But even when that time comes, he is going to have improved and developed so much that he could run through that pool of fighters at that time. If a fighter is going to beat Mokaev outside the best fighters in the division then now is the time to do it whilst he’s still developing. But even though he’s still developing he’s still a problem. I’m not sure Mokaev finds another finish here so I am predicting a dominant three round decision victory for Muhammad Mokaev.”

Cauley Quilty, Editor for VMTV, had this to say on the fight: “Muhammad Mokaev is always a treat to watch in action and his UFC debut back in March was nothing short of spectacular! He came to make a statement and did exactly that getting the first round finish and I see him doing the same thing when he steps back out there against Charles Johnson. His extensive amateur career and impressive run of professional performances make it almost impossible to not side with Mokaev in this bout, especially with the way he defeated Durden on his debut.

However, Charles Johnson isn’t an opponent anyone should underestimate as his resume and recent performances speak for themselves! His fight vs Carlos ‘Mota’ Tizil was a barnburner and with 8 of his 11 wins coming by way of finish you know he can get the job done when needed. Both fighters are highly touted and respected so expect the winner of this to receive a bump up in competition on their next outing.”

Who do you think leaves the ‘Fight To Watch’ with their hand raised? Be sure to let us know your predictions below!

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