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Jose "Shorty" Torres focused heading into UFC debut


Jose Torres poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at the DoubleTree Hotel on May 31, 2018 in Utica, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)" align="center" />There aren’t many fighters that make their promotional debut in the Octagon riding a 32-fight win streak.

But Jose Torres will Friday night in Utica.

At the age of 25, All-American wrestler Torres has impressed by becoming a two-division champion for the Titan FC promotion on his way to a 7-0 professional record. “Shorty” Torres joins the Fight Night Utica card on just 10 days’ notice after Hector Sandoval was forced to withdraw from his flyweight fight with Jarred Brooks.

Even though he was preparing for a featherweight match-up, Torres believes accepting the opportunity to get in the Octagon with Brooks adds just another chapter to his journey.

“It’s honestly a phenomenal story what I’ve been able to do,” Torres said. “Not just as an amateur, but with Titan FC, this last minute weight cut and being able to come out of nowhere to really put on a show for the fans.”

Despite being only 5-foot-4 Torres has displayed big finishes throughout his seven-win professional career, securing three wins by KO and two by submission. While seeing his name on a UFC fight card for the first time is a dream come true, the Chicago native isn’t letting the moment get to him.

“I try my best to not look at the hype behind anything that I’ve done or I’m about to do,” Torres said. “I just plan to go in there like it’s another day in the office for me.”

Although Torres hasn’t officially fought in the UFC before he experienced some UFC exposure when the UFC hosted the IMMAF world championships during International Fight Week in 2014 and 2015. Torres not only claimed the inaugural world title at bantamweight, but successfully defended his title. 

“There was that pressure. You know all those people are watching you because this is on replay and UFC Fight Pass,” Torres said. “There is that buildup of nerves and that buildup of all this stuff can happen in the blink of an eye.”

Torres learned to calm those nerves at Combat-Do gym just outside of Chicago, where he also donates 20 percent of his fight earnings so that kids training in mixed martial arts can seek opportunities they might otherwise miss out on. Donating helps Torres create positive experiences for the same community that’s supported him over the years.

“For me I wasn’t able to travel for camps and tournaments,” he said. ”So to be able to give back so that these kids can travel, train and figure out who they are is awesome.”

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On Friday, Torres will try to make Combat-Do proud when he puts his undefeated record on the line against Brooks in the opening match-up of the UFC Fight Pass early prelims. And thanks to his experience, he is confident his debut will be a happy one.

“He’s a good fighter but I think I’m a better wrestler. I see him tiring out,” said Torres. “I think it’s going to be a second round TKO.” 

Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for Follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCnews