Jose Torres commits to weight management instead of weight cuts

Torres

Two-time IMMAF world bantamweight gold medallist Jose Torres has revealed encouraging plans for a complete overhaul of his fight preparations to include a healthy weight management and lifestyle adjustment: He has committed to never again undergo a pre-fight weight cut. Last week “Shorty” revealed that he had joined with nutritionist Lou Giordano of LouTrition. After the announcement, Torres spoke with IMMAF.org to discuss his history with weight cutting, his thoughts on MMA’s weight cutting culture, plus how his new approach with Loutrition will take him to an all new level as a professional, following the completion of his bar raising amateur career. loutrition In July of last year Torres claimed his second gold medal at the IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Las Vegas, taking his amateur record to 25-1 and setting him apart as the most decorated amateur in MMA. Torres’ success provoked standout U.S. promotion Titan FC to sign him up, making him the first 0-0 professional to ever join the promotion. In addition, Torres was scouted to join Bahrain’s groundbreaking KHK MMA team, founded and funded by Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, with team mates including IMMAF featherweight world champion Frans Mlambo,  UFC veterans Frankie Edgar and Khabib Nurmagomedov, alongside a host of Bahrain’s developing amateur hopefuls. IMMAF tournaments require athletes to weigh in on each day of competition within their division. This process discourages weight cutting and results in many athletes competing closer to their natural weight, with a successful track record. Torres explained how he was among the percentage of fighters who still looked to complete a weight cut for IMMAF competition, but did so with a degree of reluctance due to not being knowledgeable of more effective weight management techniques. Having gradually lowered his weight through training, Torres made the final cut with an Epsom salt bath as an alternative to a dry heat sauna. For the additional weigh ins he would complete a morning workout while wearing a sauna suit, but stressed that he is now better educated and set to cut out the procedure completely. The amateur world champion explained how his mindset for weight cutting was first ingrained during his college wrestling days. If there’s any sport that has a more notable weight cutting culture than MMA, it most certainly could be wrestling. “At the World Championships I started training at 150-155lbs and slowly dropped it from there. It is not a hard process for me to make the 135lbs weight because I’m used to dropping to 125lbs for college wrestling, but cutting weight is cutting weight. When the IMMAF makes you weigh in a total of 5 times in the week it’s not the most fun thing to do, but I had to suck it up and get it done to win another world title.” While many fighters will push the boundaries of weight cutting to go as low as possible, Torres abided to his own set limits with the simple logic that his performances would be superior. On occasion he would turn down suggestions of taking on 125lb amateur competition despite having endured the cut on many occasions as a college wrestler. “I wrestled five years in college at 125lbs, even when I didn’t feel that I could perform my best at it. I can make the weight, but making that weight was very gruelling for my body. It created a lot of pain, stress and affected my performance during training in many ways. I personally believe that fighting around your natural weight might not necessarily make you the strongest or fastest opponent, but it will make you the more energized fighter that’s ready to go the distance. People believe that dropping weight makes you the bigger opponent. So? All that power but no energy? We’ve seen plenty of big figures burn out after the first round and then they are left helpless to the healthier opponent. Fighting at your natural weight gives fighters a chance to focus on training instead of the stress and pain of cutting weight. Plus, the way people cut weight these days are horrible and extremely unhealthy. I can easily say I’ve tried all of the typical bad wrestler weight cuts and they’re all gruesome. The only real wrestlers and athletes that I’ve seen make it to the top are the ones that compete around their natural weight. My best two examples are Anthony Johnson and Frankie Edgar!” Torres is now comfortable in denouncing weight cutting in favour of weight management. With the help of Loutrition, Torres will adopt a permeant and healthy shift in lifestyle in order to bring his weight down comfortably and naturally, without any guilt from putting strain on his body. “Cutting weight in this sport is an overused and abused term that many fighters do in all combative sports, mainly in MMA. We’ve seen great athletes lose because they end up focusing more on the scale than the actual fight or lack their usual spectacular performance because they spent all of their energy cutting weight for the fight. Lou is a professional that has broken down all of the science and reasons why he believes that his specific “lifestyle” will work for me. He used the word “lifestyle” instead of “diet” because a diet is only for a certain period of time and slowly the weight will go back up. Too much fluctuation in weight is bad for the body and can lead to poor performance and health. A “lifestyle” is a way of life that one lives. He wants not just me but all of his athletes to manage their weight instead of cutting it, so that the body stays strong and healthy at all times, even when there is not a fight. By the time I go for my next fight, I will naturally weigh 140lbs. I will be stronger, faster, and healthier because of it and making weight from that is a drilling practice away. “Lou believes in managing weight instead of cutting, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, but sadly didn’t have the knowledge nor materials to do so. I want to fight at my very best and Lou can help me do that. A great fighter is nothing without his health and I don’t want to be held back because of a poor weight cut. Starting this week I don’t cut weight anymore, I manage it. I will be eating healthier with the correct portion sizes and foods that I need to be at 100% health.” With his professional career ready to be ignited, the 23-year-old is thankful for discovering this new direction, and with the support of KHK MMA more doors have been opened than he could have imagined. “Making weight will be extremely easy now and you never know, if all goes well, I might make that drop to 125lbs. There are many possibilities. The support from KHK MMA has opened doors for me to explore and further develop myself as a professional.” Jose Torres raised the bar for all amateur mixed martial artists and reminds himself daily of his dream to be a spokesperson and role model for others. It was with a real sincerity that he offered this message of friendly advice to all amateur fighter, in the hope that they too can become enthusiastic and confident competing at a natural weight: “Weight cutting is very dangerous. It can and has lead to death, not just in MMA but in other sports that involve their athletes having to make weight. I highly recommend fighting in a weight class that is close to your natural weight, so you don’t have to go through the pain and stress of cutting. It’s a grueling process that athletes are only now starting to learn is a bad idea. Instead of cutting, make a healthier lifestyle so that your body can adapt through that. A little tip –  if you are focusing more on making weight than the actual fight, that’s when you know you’re in the wrong weight class.” Written by IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran    

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