WEC former champ Miguel Torres was honored by his hometown of East Chicago, Ind.,on Friday. Torres is well-respected in his hometown not just for his achievements as a fighter, but for his work within the community. He was given the key to the city, honored at a ceremony in downtown East Chicago, and even took time to give a haircut to someone who wanted Torres' signature mullet.
Torres' gym is in neighboring Hammond, Ind., and he has always stayed close to the community. His gym is brimming with children from the area and several of them were on hand at the ceremony honoring Torres.
"The thing with kids is that they don't have any bad habits. I've trained adults my whole life, and it's hard to break through that exterior. Children come in with an open mind. They have an imagination. All you have to do is give them tools, and they do well," Torres said.
Torres said he wants to work with the schools in his region to teach martial arts because he knows the positive effect that training can have.
"The sport might be brutal, but the training is all about honor. People who want to be in gangs and do drugs don't train. If you're going to train, you're going to be at the gym, not on the streets doing bad things."
As he gets ready to fight again, possibly in August or September, Torres said he is focused on getting his belt back. He is coming off of two losses, one where he lost the WEC championship to Brian Bowles, and another to Joseph Benavidez.
"I want to regain my title back. There's a lot of tough guys in my weight class. My last fight, I got a real bad cut, and I'm looking to get back in action, and I want my belt back."