Above is the first round of the fight that World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Miguel Torres calls the toughest of his career: His 2007 win over Charles Wilson. Below is video of the second and third rounds of that fight, plus my interview with Torres about why that was the toughest of his estimated 50 MMA fights.
Michael David Smith: Your official record is 35-1, but you've had more than 36 fights, right?
Miguel Torres: Yes, sir. I've been doing MMA since I was 17, back when I was in high school. Guys had gyms in their garages with their own fight teams, and they'd get the Marco Ruas tapes to learn from, and we'd watch the old Prides, the first UFCs and we'd try to pick up moves and fight guys from other gyms. Those days were crazy. No one wanted to share information, but I'd try to sneak into other gyms to learn from other people, and I'd share what I knew of jiu jitsu and boxing and whatever. That's how I got my start and developed a well-rounded game. Some people hated wrestlers but I tried to learn from wrestlers. Some people hated boxers but I wanted to learn from boxers.
So if your record isn't really 35-1, what is it?
I believe I'm 48-1.
As you look back on your career, now unofficially getting ready for your 50th fight, who's the toughest guy you've fought?
My toughest opponent was probably the guy I underestimated the most, a guy I fought in a local show named Charles Wilson. We fought at a catch weight of 145 pounds. Everyone told me he was a kung fu guy -- I heard he was just a karate guy and I had no idea that he kick boxed, he used to kick box on this Chuck Norris show (the World Combat League) where you just throw non-stop strikes, and he was a professional kickboxer for like 10 years. He was also a professional boxer and had done mixed martial arts for five years, and I went in there thinking he was just a karate guy.
He almost had me knocked out in like the first five seconds of the fight. He was so tall, I was looking at his face and his leg went from the ground to above my head and I didn't see it at all. It wasn't a roundhouse kick or a Thai kick, it was an axe kick. And I was like, "What the hell?" It just went straight in the air. If it had come down and hit me in the head it would have cut me open. But it hit me in the collarbone. He hit me and I fell down and I got back up and just went non-stop until I wore him out for about a 12-minute fight. In the first round I got him in like three submissions, but he was just so strong that he wouldn't tap. I had to physically wear him out before I could catch him in a choke.
Torres vs. Wilson Round 2:
Torres vs. Wilson Round 3: