It’s been exactly one year since the UFC decided to trim their men’s flyweight roster by cutting 20 fighters from the talent pool. For most fighters, being cut by the UFC would be a devastating blow to their career. The opposite could not be truer for Jose “Shorty” Torres.

After announcing that he was the first flyweight to be given his walking papers, Torres has landed firmly on his feet with Brave CF. He speaks positively of his new employer.

Most importantly, “Shorty” feels respected for the first time in a long time.

“What you expect to get with the UFC is what Brave is giving me,” Torres told The Painted Lines. “The money, the respect, the support, just pretty much anything which is awesome. I’m able to talk to the higher ups, to talk to (Brave CF president) Mohammed Shahid and know that if I need something directly or there’s an emergency, I can go to the man in power and really get some respect out of him. If he’s free, he’s free; if he’s not, he’s not. But at least I know that I have access to everyone.”

Losing his Father

To top everything off, “Shorty” was awarded a chance to compete for the flyweight championship against Marcel Adur in the main event of Brave 29 on November 15th. While his professional life has made a turn for the best, Torres recently experienced a life altering event personally. Just weeks prior to speaking with The Painted Lines, Torres’ father passed away as “Shorty” trained for his upcoming fight.

“For me it’s crazy because the day I found out my father was going to officially pass, we had him on life support, and they were going to wait for me to get home so we could all pull the plug together. I was about to go downstairs to spar…I bought my plane ticket, my plane wasn’t leaving for another four hours, so I decided to go downstairs, spar, get loose in the head, and get an hour away of just freedom. And honestly, my dad would’ve been pissed if I would’ve missed sparring. It was always fights over everything, even family sometimes. That’s just how my dad was, it’s how my whole family is.

“I finished sparring, and immediately when I finished, I went up to my sparring partner and he gave me a hug. Shirtless, sweaty Brazilian dude gives me a hug, and I just start tearing up because they all knew that my father was going to pass and I’m leaving home for that reason.”

Losing his Best Friend

Torres credits his father with getting him into fighting. While he admits that his father was not the best parent when he and his brother were children, the adult “Shorty” has grown to appreciate what his father provided.

Torres goes as far to say they were best friends.

“He was one of the main reasons why I started fighting, for multiple reasons. He wanted my brother and I to be fighters. My dad was an enforcer in the game. He was always that guy who needed to do what he needed to do to get the job done. When I grew up, my dad was one of my biggest influencers. Also, my brother and I wanted to grow up one day to beat my dad up. He beat us up too much. It’s crazy how my father’s goal, in a sense, was he was the master and we were the grasshoppers. And he wanted us to eventually grow up to beat him up one day. It’s kind of crazy how even though it’s something he wanted and something we didn’t want, we grew up to do that anyways.

“It’s one of those things…my father was one of my best friends, so to lose him for this fight, it does suck, but I mean it’s sadly one of those inevitable things you have to face, and I’d rather face it now than later on in my career.”

Losing his Motivator

Despite all Torres has experienced in recent weeks, delaying the fight against Adur never crossed his mind. Torres knows that his father wouldn’t want him to back out of the fight.

“Everyone says you’re fighting for your dad. That’s actually not the case. I never even fought for me. The two times I fought for myself is when I lost, my MMA debut and my last UFC fight. So yeah, I’ve always fought for my father, my mother, my brother. I’ve never done this sport for me. I’m very extrinsically motivated, and they all wanted to be a professional athlete. My father wanted to be a fighter, my brother just wanted to be any type of professional athlete, my mom just wanted to be able to play sports and have fun, have the freedom of a regular person. For me, I was just able to use the opportunity that they all gave me to, in a sense, accomplish what they always wanted to accomplish.”

Not Losing his Focus

With his father’s fighting spirit inside of him, “Shorty” is ready to accomplish big things at Brave. He also has no intentions of returning to the UFC, referring to it as a “bad relationship.”

Regardless, Torres is on a mission at his new home. Brave CF, the largest MMA promotion in the Middle East, is growing quickly since its inception in 2016. Torres wants to help lead that growth.

“Fingers crossed, if everything works out well, I have a four-fight contract with three more fights. I want to be able to win this belt for BRAVE, hopefully defend it, and then bump up to fight 135, whoever the champion is. Right now it’s Stephen Loman. I would love to fight him.

“I don’t want to be your ordinary single champion, your ordinary double weight-class champ. For me, I defended my belts three times (in Titan CF), and I was more than happy to fight the number one contender; I never picked my fights. I want to do that for Brave and maybe inevitably go to another promotion and do the same thing, but for me, I’m stuck on Brave right now and I want to be as dominant as I can be.”