Miguel Torres stuck to the game plan at UFC 139. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Miguel Torres didn’t finish Nick Pace at UFC 139, but he did win a dominant unanimous decision without taking any damage in the process.
At this point in his career, Torres will take that outcome.
“I fought smart,” he told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I controlled the distance using my jab. I set up my right hand. I set up a bunch of kicks. … I didn’t get injured at all. I took no damage whatsoever. I’m in my gym right now as we speak, getting ready to teach a class at 4 and start training at 5.”
Since he’s not nursing any injuries, Torres said he’s ready to go again. He’s hoping to fight on the January UFC card expected to take place in Chicago, or if not there, then soon after. The quick turnaround is another benefit resulting from a change in his style. Gone are the days of reckless aggression. Now Torres uses a tactical approach, which has developed from his work with trainer Firas Zahabi.
“The first thing he told me was, ‘You’re the kind of guy that I can see is worrying about everybody else but himself. You’re trying to make everybody happy but yourself,’” Torres said. “He goes, ‘You have a daughter. You have a wife. You’ve got to be smart. You’ve got to do what is best for your family. You being busted up at 35 and not having any prospects is not going to make you a good father. You’ve got to be smart. You’ve got to look out for your career and you’ve got to get paid at the same time.’”
The advice resonated.
“It hit my heart real hard because he was totally right,” Torres said. “He was totally right about the situation.”
With that said, Torres doesn’t consider his new style conservative or defense-oriented. He’s still looking for knockouts and submissions, and for sure he mounted plenty of offense against Pace, but he wasn’t going to take a big risk and run into a right hand either.
“I have a limited window to be able to be a great fighter and to be a champion,” Torres said. “I feel like I haven’t even reached my peak yet. I’m still working out my style and finding that balance of being ultra aggressive and being conservative, finding that middle balance.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 39:22).