Torres sought out Zahabi after a two-fight skid that saw him lose his WEC belt. He primarily had been training himself at his gym in Hammond, Ind., and with the demands of teaching and fatherhood, it made it difficult for him to travel. In his early career, he had sought out new gyms around the country. But responsibilities had tied him down.
"I knew what I knew, and it was working," he said. "Nobody was beating me, so I didn't think about it. I lost."
Torres feels he's seen the light now under Zahabi. There may have been a time when he would've charged into the ring looking to go punch for punch with Banuelos, a scrappy fighter from Chuck Liddell's home, "The Pit." But those days are over.
"When I trained myself, it was all guts and glory," Torres told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during an open workout in support of Saturday's event. "Go out there and represent who I am and where I'm from, and to leave everything on the line. That's how I fought.
"It worked for a while, but then with the media and the power of tape, everyone [realized] my mindset and ... how I do what I do. Before, it was easy because you would hear about me, but you wouldn't see me. Everybody got to see me and take me apart. With Firas, it's more of a calculated, strategic approach to make my strengths my strengths. Don't fight somebody at their strengths."
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