Cagewriter: You've recently spoken about your pay in comparison to UFC fighters' pay. What do you think you should be paid?
Miguel Torres: I think I should be paid fair. I think I deserve what heavyweights are getting. I put in the same training time, if not more. I believe I possess more skill, because I don't have the size to overcompensate. I can't Brock Lesnar somebody and lay on them, and punch them with my right hand the whole time and knock them out that way. I have to devise another strategy to win a fight. I think that's more entertaining because you see more skill involved, more agility.
What do you say to the guy working as a garbage man who says, "Hey, we all want more money!"
I could kick their asses. (Laughs) I'm a fighter, but people don't look at me as a fighter. I'm just a piece of entertainment for them. They just want to see me put on a show. If I went out there and fought the way that Anderson fought, and I was really safe, and I just hit and moved, and didn't try to finish fights, which I have reason to do now that I'm on top, I wouldn't be as popular as I am. When I fight, it's guaranteed that it's going to be a good fight.
What about the argument that you're not as big of a draw?
I'm not as big of a draw as Brock Lesnar, but I have more personality than him; I'm more interesting than he is. I've heard Brock Lesnar. I've interviewed him. It's like talking to the Hulk. "So Brock, what did you think about the fight?" "Brock smash Mir, Brock eat baby, I'm gonna drink a Coors, and maybe get on my wife." That's Brock's interview! He's getting paid millions of dollars for that. That's their heavyweight champion, getting paid all this money, from out of nowhere Minnesota! I know he's a draw because he came from the WWE, and he's bringing a different fanbase in, but we're a draw, we just have no exposure.
In boxing, the lightweight fighters are more popular fighters because they have all this exposure. Mayweather's got all the exposure in the world, and everyone thinks he's a god because of all the exposure he's gotten. If it was not for that 24/7 show, no one would give a (expletive) about Mayweather, he'd be some other punk, wannabe rapper. But with the exposure he's given, they market him the right way, and his brand recognition is through the roof because of how tey market him. If I had that same marketing, I'd be "Money Miguel." It would be me, instead of "Money Mayweather."
It'll get better, but it will never get where it should be. I know fighters that get paid tons of money, and I'm not going to say they suck, but they don't have more heart, more skill or more dedication than I have. It's not fair. But I've accepted it already. I'm not going to let it get me down.
I don't think I'd walk away from it, because of the simple fact that they have the best fighters in the world. I wouldn't want to go somewhere where there are lesser fighters and I'm getting paid more money but I'm not getting the right competition that I need. I'm in this for not just the money, but for the competition. The money is not there, but I know I'm ushering in a new era of MMA. I know that I'm going to be making it better for the guys after me. Hopefully, they'll remember me when they're rich and famous.
Would you be satisfied with bigger fight night bonuses?
Even a bonus structure wouldn't make me happy, because you're not guaranteed a bonus. The WEC does take care of me on the side, and in a lot of different ways, but I think it should be stated in my contract what I deserve. If you're an exciting fighter, we're going to make you happy. I should be guaranteed you're going to get whatever because you're part of our family. Because you fight for us. I know it can't be like that for all fighters, but I think for a select group of fighters, Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, guys that are on top and are big draws, they should be taken care of. They're promising that it's going to happen, and I have faith that it will, but I'm not going to be surprised if it doesn't.
Do you think you'd be a draw on a pay-per-view card?
I think I'd be a draw, it just depends on how they market it. I mean, I could put her (a woman in the gym) on a pay-per-view to fight Cyborg, and if nobody knows anything about her, no one is going to care. But if I did a whole 24/7 kind of show, or about him (another person in the gym), on how he's going to fight Fedor, everyone's going to watch it, because they make it interesting. It's all on how you market your fighters.
Everyone hates Mayweather, because of how they portrayed him on 24/7. He's the cockiest, ghettoest dude you can look at. And he's so cocky, so arrogant, everyone wants to see him lose. The other guy looks like a hero. The other guy could be nothing, but Mayweather looks so cocky, so arrogant, you want to see him lose, and you will watch for that very reason. If they market their fighters in a similar fashion, they could make guys into superstars like that.
It's funny that you bring up Mayweather. Did you --
I would love to fight Mayweather, just because of the simple fact that I think he's a cocky asshole.
He thinks that MMA was invented by white people because they couldn't win in boxing any more.
Well, I'm not a white person, and I will smash his ass. I don't care. His style of boxing is all built on getting people in the clinch. He'll hit them, and then he'll get in the clinch with them. Then the referee breaks them, and he'll hit them and grab them again. I think it's a great strategy. It's not clean boxing, but it's smart boxing. He's going to hit somebody and grab them in MMA, and he'll be done for. They'll take him down. That'll be all. I'll be on top of the list to fight him.
Some sponsors have recently been kept out of the UFC. Has that affected you at all?
My sponsors haven't been kept out, because when my contract was renegotiated, my sponsors were a big part of that. They're not going to implement that in the WEC. They wanted to, but they won't because that would violate my contract, and that would give me reason to be able to leave. I got lucky. I have a great manager, and he stipulated that my sponsors were going to be allowed in, no matter what. He either had foresight this was going to happen one day, or he was just on top of his stuff.
If my sponsorship would have been affected, than I would for sure leave, because they're messing with my money. What I'm missing from my purses, I'm making up in my sponsorships. It's still affecting me, because they're paying to be in the UFC, so it's affecting my payment schedules, and the way they compensate me.
The last time we talked, you said a Miguel Torres doll was on the way.
It's coming out in October. It has a mullet. The muscles are a little bit too big, but that's the smallest they could make them without making the doll look weird. They're going to send me a box for all the kids in the gym. It's going to be weird to see all the kids playing with the little dolls of me. My daughter will have five of them. They're going to beat up all of her other toys.
Stay tuned for part II of Miguel Torres' interview, coming this Monday.
- Brock Lesnar
- Miguel Torres