BlogKick: Torres Fights Smart to Las Vegas BoosPosted on February 6, 2011, 11:16 AM by codemaster
From the start of the fight between Miguel Torres and Antonio Banuelos, Torres used superior boxing skills and reach advantage to pick apart his opponent. The CompuStrike numbers tell the tale: 87 of 205 strikes found their mark for Miguel, while Antonio only managed 17 of 124 attempted strikes.
The drunken Las Vegas crowd of high-rollers who could afford tickets for this event were not impressed, and booed throughout this exhibition of standup dominance. Banuelos seemed content to stay outside, waiting for Torres to bring the fight into his range, until in the final minute of the 3 round fight, when he suddenly realized that he was going to lose--he then made some belated efforts to bring the fight to Torres.
Throughout the fight, Torres was aggressive, and landing his jab and straight right at will. To Banuelos' credit, he withstood a constant barrage of strikes and showed his toughness. During the fight, Joe Rogan, perhaps influenced by the fickle crowd, criticized Torres' performance, not on technical merit, but upon entertainment value.
The crowd wanted a Leonard Garcia style fight, standing and banging, with no gameplan, no tactics--no art.
The former WEC BW champ with a string of 17 consecutive victories had Brian Bowles hurt in August 2009, and it seemed the fight was his. He moved in for the kill and received a devastating counter which knocked him out in the 1st round.
His next fight with Joseph Benavidez also ended badly in the 2nd round, with Torres being submitted by a guillotine choke after more reckless behavior in the octagon. Suddenly the former champ was 2, maybe three losses away from retirement, after such an illustrious career and with unrealized potential. Up until the Brian Bowles fight, he was essentially self-coached, but upon reflection, he realized he needed the help of a professional coach.
He moved to Montreal, and lived in the house of Firaz Zahabi, GSP's top trainer, and began working on fighting smart. There he learned new discipline and how to utilize his strengths and his opponents weaknesses. Torres knew that no matter what some fans might say, even if you lose in an exciting fashion, a loss is a loss, and too many losses would mean an abrupt end for young fighter's career. The BJJ blackbelt understood finally the hard truth of MMA--the name of the game is to win.
The veteran Torres, who finished 32 out of 39 wins realized that once you get to the highest level in MMA, it is more than skill, it is more than heart, it is more than conditioning---at the highest level--a fighter needs intelligence.