Over his past couple fights, UFC bantamweight Miguel Torres has learned a lot about himself.
Since training with Firas Zahabi, the head trainer of TriStar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, the former WEC standout has quickly transitioned into a different fighter. Prior to making several visits to Zahabi, Torres was on a two-fight losng streak. The losses taught him a lesson about himself and Torres knew he needed to make a change.
"When I first met Firas, within the first ten minutes, he told me exactly what my problem was. He’s like, `You look like the kind of guy that is trying to take care of too many people and not taking care of yourself,’" Torres said to Heavy.com.
The former WEC bantamweight champion said he saw the weaknesses in his own game not too long after training with Zahabi, a choice he decided to make following his knockout loss to Brian Bowles at WEC 42 that saw him relenquish the title to his opponent. Ever since his loss to Bowles, Torres switched camps and hasn't looked back.
“The biggest thing with Firas is that he assesses your strengths and weaknesses, and he tries to make you level in all areas," he said.
Torres was a fan favourite in the WEC for his aggressive style, but since training at Tri Star Gym, Torres' style was also exposing weaknesses and has now switched up his style.
"For me, my biggest weaknesses were my wrestling and my striking. My striking was very aggressive, but very sloppy. There was no style, no technique; it was all aggression. My wrestling was non-existent," he said.
His new approach has served him well, going on a two-fight winning streak against WEC veterans, Charlie Valencia and Antonio Banuelos.
Torres will look to continue his success when he squares off against Demetrious Johnson at UFC 130. However, his success inside the Octagon has brought him his fair share of criticism as well, which Torres acknowledges but tends to ignore the critics and stick to his game plan.
“I know it’s better to win than lose, and it’s better to win a fight where you’re sticking to the game plan, than lose a really exciting fight. Unless you’re a fighter and you’ve been on both sides of the fence, you won’t understand that," he said.
UFC 130 takes place on May 30, live from Las Vegas, Nevada.