by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Since losing the WEC bantamweight title to Brian Bowles last year, former champion Miguel Torres has been on a mission to make sure the same mistakes that haunted him in that fight never happen again.
The former champion has said several times that he hopes to get another shot at Bowles, regardless of whether or not a title is involved, but he’s quick to point out that it’s not a personal problem with the man who beat him. It’s just the hunger inside him to erase that loss.
“It’s not that I have a vendetta against Bowles or I’m pulling the Mir/Lesnar thing where I hate Brian Bowles’ life. I don’t,” said Torres in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I think he’s a great fighter. I just want to show him the Miguel Torres that should have showed up that day. I want to give him the opportunity to fight the best Miguel Torres that he could have.”
While he believes that Bowles will likely come out on top of his upcoming title defense against Dominick Cruz, he’s made it clear to the powers that be in the WEC what he wants next.
“WEC’s already made it apparent to me, I get past Benavidez, if I get past him, they want me to fight for a title no matter who wins the fight,” Torres stated. “I made it apparent to them, I know what I want to do.”
Looking back on their fight, Torres says he takes nothing away from Bowles or what he did to win that night. He just doesn’t believe that it was his best performance, and he wants a chance at vindication.
“It’s not a knock like I think he won by luck or a lucky shot or I think I didn’t do a good job, I just wasn’t prepared the right way,” he relayed. “I want to give everybody the show that they should have got the first time.”
Looking back on the fight, Torres knows the mistakes that he made getting ready for Bowles, and knows that the loss was a wake up call to make some changes. For his upcoming fight against Benavidez, he has been working with fighters like UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino, grappling legend Robert Drysdale, and even had the chance to train with boxing champion Miguel Cotto.
“Miguel Cotto came to my training camp for a couple days, got to work with him. That was probably one of the most awesome experiences that I’ve ever had in a training camp,” Torres commented. “We’re talking about a world caliber boxer giving me pointers and actually sparring with me. I can tell you this, he hits hard as (expletive). He didn’t knock me out, but he did hit me a couple of times where I was dazed.”
Cotto noticed some problems in the way that Torres attacked his opponents after hurting them and that he tended to leave his chin up, which could contribute to future knockouts. Torres admits that he never really broke down fight tape of his own performances, only those of his opponents, but now he’s got the right strategy and the right training behind him.
“I know what I had, I know what I lost, and I know what I want to get back,” he said in closing.
Next up on the agenda for Torres is a March 6 showdown with Benavidez as the co-main event for WEC 47 in Columbus, Ohio.