Some media outlets called it the upset of the year. It was shocking to see Brian Bowles take out Miguel Torres at WEC 42 and it did upset the former bantamweight champ. Torres realized he had gotten into a comfort zone, was surrounded by yes men and was fighting with the wrong approach.
"I've used the same training partners for 11 or 12 years, and I haven't brought any of them back for this fight," Torres told the Las Vegas Sun. "What ended up happening was — I wasn't getting cocky, they got cocky. They would say, 'Oh, you're going to kill this guy. He's only got seven fights.'"
Torres knew he needed a fresh set of faces around.
"The guys I had coaching me were there just to give me water and talk my face off. They weren't giving me anything I could use. Looking back, I can see there were a lot of things off. But I was in a bubble at the time and couldn't see it."
He just spent a month in Las Vegas working with a whole new team. And he heads to Boston next, to live and work with Mark Dellagrotte. His time in Sin City was spent with Robert Drysdale, a dynamite jiu-jitsu instructor while Dellagrotte's speciality is striking. Torres wants to get back to using all elements of his game.
"I want to change the way I finish fights," Torres said. "I was trying to go out there and put on a show, impress the crowd and make them look at the 135-pound division. I've done that enough. It's time to put my health and safety first."
Torres' had a repuation as one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world and for the last few years submissions and a ground game disappeared. Torres got to thinking he could outslug every opponent. He got caught against Bowles.
Torres comes back on March 6 against top 135-pound contender Joe Benavidez. Bowles defends his new WEC bantamweight belt on the card as well. If Torres gets by Benavidez that should set up a Bowles rematch. Torres said he wants Bowles, whether the champ beats Dominick Cruz or not.
"I want Cruz to win," Torres said, thinking fighters are best after a loss. "I want Brian to lose. He'll want to come back strong and then I'll have the best Brian Bowles there is. If he loses that fight against Dominick and he loses the belt, I wouldn't want a fight with Cruz. I would want Brian Bowles."
Torres is taking this seriously and making sacrifices. He spent his birthday away from his wife and daughter in Chicago.