On one night in February, Miguel Torres went from being a relatively unknown fighter from East Chicago (Ind.), to being the WEC bantamweight champion and being considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world.
His first real introduction to most casual fans was at WEC 32, when Torres defeated then-champion Chase Beebe via submission (guillotine choke) to win the 135-pound title. However, the scrappy Mexican-American has been beating people up — sometimes grown men who outweigh him by more than 25 pounds — for years in sanctioned and unsanctioned bouts for close to a decade .
His nearly perfect professional record (46-1), which includes just about every submission and finishing result in the book, is nothing compared to his unbelievable “amateur” accomplishments.
That number might seem different to you because Sherdog’s Fight Finder has Torres listed as 33-1. Torres acknowledges that they were small time fights that were unsanctioned
“They were fights that helped build my career,” Torres told MMAMania.com. “They were the ones that got me into the sport. They weren’t weight classed, they were open rules.”
Those early fights earned him a cult-like following on the underground Midwest MMA scene, as well as the respect of his peers such as UFC veteran and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) star, Stephan Bonnar.
“When we were coming up, Miguel had the entire Chicago scene by the balls,” said Bonnar. “He could sell more tickets than anyone. He turned events into such a show, complete with Mariachi bands and everything.”Link