Not everyone can be a hero.
Many of us consider this occupation and even practice it when we are young. We dream about it, try to emulate our idols and role play situations. To actually inspire others as an adult requires a special kind of person, who is willing to do whatever it takes to be the best in their field. This means endless hours, sacrifice, blood, sweat, some more blood and plenty of mental torture in Mixed Martial Arts.
What’s the reward? Ask Jose Torres, a Chicago native and one of the most decorated amateur MMA fighters ever to grace the cage, and he’s now, after two professional victories, fighting for a world title in Titan FC. It all began for Jose in his living room, watching T.V.
“My biggest inspiration was always the power rangers when I was younger. Then my Dad, me and my brother used to play fight all the time, so with that I was always trying to keep fighting and doing little things. I always wanted to be a hero and my heroes always fought, but they fought for the right things and I wanted to do the same thing, be a hero and inspire people to do great things in life, not just fighting, but inspire themselves to do better in their lives.”
Torres became a member of Combat Do, where he learned his craft, before joining KHK MMA and has since seen his career explode. He carries a lot of hype on his shoulders due to his incredible amateur pedigree. He won two IMMAF World Championship titles an amateur – a mind boggling achievement considering all the best amateurs in the world perform their and its quite normal to see world class amateurs beaten in this tournament, such is the level of competition.
And Torres is fully prepared to lose, because he never invested himself in the chase for titles.
“My attitude is: I don’t come into the cage mad, or wanting to be the best. I’d love to be the best, but if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t that’s ok. I didn’t start this sport at 4 years old thinking I want to be UFC Champion, I started doing it because it was fun. So that means I go in there with a different attitude, nice and calm and not intimidated. My coaches and trainers always taught me to have fun with the sport, do it because you enjoy it not because somebody else is pushing you to do it.”
Jose Torres finishes his opponent in the 1st round in his pro debut
KHK MMA's World Top Amateur Fighter Successful in his Professional MMA Debut ! Jose Shorty Torres MMA with a fast submission win in his Pro Debut at #TitanFC37
Posted by Arabs MMA on Saturday, March 5, 2016
“Shorty” is used to winning, but he’s not afraid to suffer defeat either. In the sport of MMA, almost 100% of fighters will lose at some point, and there career will be determined by how they bounce back from defeat. Torres has been beaten and has tasted this bitter fruit himself, and he’s chewed it up and swallowed it whole.
“Every first fight I have had, I lost. My first kick boxing fight, my first MMA fight, my first Muay Thai fight, my thing is not giving up. It’s the heart and determination to keep on going no matter what you’re doing, even on those mornings where you’re not motivated. What’s your reason for pushing forward? What’s the reason you joined this sport in the first place? Remember your goals and keep pushing forward.”
Now Torres is dedicate to inspiring others who wish to emulate his success; he has become the hero he dreamed of being. He’s at the top of his profession and destined for greatness. He’s an undefeated professional, the most decorated amateur ever and he’s still committed to his chosen role as an MMA hero.
He was ever-present at this year’s IMMAF World Championships, helping our Team Bahrain KHK MMA fighters, lending whatever advice he could and giving countless interviews to the press. This is his chosen role and this is what makes Shorty the incredible man he is.
Jose Torres at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships
“I sit here at the gym every day, even if there’s nobody to train with, just to inspire other athletes or get the kids out of the streets. If I was able to make it out of Chicago, Cicero, they can too. I don’t see why not. That’s what I have been doing my whole life and that’s my biggest accomplishment, being a hero to someone.”