A UFC call-up may reveal itself for Titan Fighting Championship Flyweight champion Jose “Shorty” Torres, who exhibited his auspicious talent over Pedro Nobre at Titan FC 43.
The bout between Torres and Nobre was originally slated for Titan’s December 2 card but the Brazilian picked up knee and ankle injuries the Monday before their scheduled contest.
Hosting the event was the Watsco Centre in Coral Gables, Fla., which boasts the promotion’s second consecutive show at the University of Miami base.
“Shorty” Torres, 24, was able to keep composed despite Nobre’s inclination to pressure the Chicago native. 125-pound champion Torres would quickly shift into second gear, where he showed great head movement before he dropped Nobre with a solid right hand.
This served as a prelude for the 2x IMMAF World champion – the first amateur athlete to achieve that feat – who soon followed up on his opponent, where he utilised his clinch to drive a deluge of knees to the abdomen of Nobre before a right uppercut sent the challenger crashing to the mat. Torres followed up with a few ground and pound strikes before the referee waved off the fight; much to the dismay of a confused Nobre.
The end of the bout came officially at 1:26 of the first round.
Following the bout, Torres attributed his success to the time spent at Elevation Fight Team with UFC Bantamweight T.J. Dillashaw.
Speaking to Kamara Usman in his post-fight interview, Torres stated: “It feels awesome, the fight was supposed to happen December 2, I got to train with T.J. [Dillashaw] and I think because of that it’s just made me way more than prepared to fight Pedro Nobre.
“If I can stand with a guy who does nothing but move around in the UFC, and is the best pound-for-pound fighter I think, I believe I can stand in front of a guy like Pedro Nobre and I’m just happy to show that my amateur experience was well worth it,” claimed Torres, before urging Dana White to make him an offer to join the UFC’s deflated Flyweight division.
Also on Titan FC 43, Will “Soldier of Christ” Starks made his professional MMA debut against Jose Cortes. After a glistening career as an amateur wrestler, and more prominently and amateur martial artist, Starks followed in USA teammate Torres’ footsteps and became only the second athlete to win back-to-back IMMAF world gold medals.
Starks, 23, was originally set to debut at 155lbs after forging an amateur career at Welterweight. However, after six opponents withdrew from the contest, the Team Takedown trained fighter was forced to settle for a 180b catchweight against Cortes.
Immediately, the difference in ability between Starks and the Columbian was apparent, with the favourite slamming Cortes on his back without much effort.
The veteran amateur athlete always looked in control with Cortes seemingly fatigued from the get-go. Starks would land a smashing right elbow which stumbled Cortes. From the clinch “Soldier of God” pressurised his foe with relentless knees and another hurling elbow, before he finally dropped Cortes with a right hand finisher at the 4:55 mark of round one.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) January 22, 2017
“It was everything I ever hoped for, I prepped for it, that’s all I can say,” started Starks in his Titan FC 43 post-fight interview.
“We had about six opponents back out for this fight, it was a cluster, it really was but we game planned got some good film on him. We were looking to kind of utilise the grappling advantage but I’m confident everywhere, I believe I’m a well-rounded fighter. I picked my opportunities when I saw then and capitalised for the finish, which feels awesome,” before he thanked UMMAF and IMMAF for the platform to progress his amateur career.
With both Torres and Starks victories, this marked the first time three IMMAF World champions appeared on any pro MMA card in the world. 2014 World gold medallist Carlos Hernandez (USA) also featured, but lost to Gustavo Balart.
Full Titan FC 43 Results
Titan FC Flyweight Title: Jose Torres (c) def. Pedro Nobre via TKO (Round 1 – 1:26)
Featherweight: Michel Quinones def. Caio Uruguai Rocha via Decision (Unanimous)
Welterweight: Valdir Araujo def. Preston Parsons via Submission (Guillotine) (Round 1 – 4:26)
Lightweight: Matt Frevola def. Raush Manfio via Decision (Unanimous)
Featherweight: Anderson Hutchinson def. Bruce Lutchmedial via Submission (Rear-naked choke) (Round 2 – 2:11)
Catchweight: Will Starks def. Jose Cortes via TKO (Round 1 – 4:55)
Flyweight: Gustavo Balart def. Carlos Hernandez via Decision (Unanimous)