The current WEC bantamweight champion (135 lbs.) Miguel Torres seems very happy to be a part of this weight class and enjoys the huge fan base. However, he feels that bumping up to 155 lbs. could also increase his paycheck drastically. Torres feels that he is a “pioneer” in the division, but he has the urge to test the waters in a more competitive weight class and in a popular organization like the UFC. If he does move in weight class, there is no doubt in his mind that he’d be willing to step back down and continue dominating the 135-pound division again. His main reasons for the move is due to “recognition and exposure” along with a “huge increase in pay” of course.
Torres has won 16 consecutive MMA fights and is ready to put his belt on the line to face Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 40. Their main event bout is scheduled to take place on April 5th at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, Illinois. The main fight card will be televised at 9pm ET, free on the Versus channel.
Here’s a snip from Torres as he talks about a possible move from 135 to 155 (props to versus.com):
“WEC’s got great opponents…they got a bunch of guys coming up, but I want to make the weight class popular. I think 135 is a very exciting weight class. I have the opportunity to put it on the map. I think in the past year I have done a lot for the weight class and for the WEC…the future is bright for 135. I want to fight here for another two or three years, and once I have solidified myself at 135, I plan on moving up in weight…I can’t fight forever…I can dominate 135 for the rest of my career and be comfortable, or I can test myself and be out of my comfort zone and try to make more money. I think fighting at a higher weight class, there will be bigger purses, bigger paydays and more high-profile fights. So, I am looking to do that in the future…To go to 145, I wouldn’t get a huge bump (in pay)…But if I were to go to 155 and get a three-fight deal (in the UFC), I am sure I could get a huge increase in pay. And then (I can) always come down to 135 or 145…It’s just exposure and recognition…The weight class just came out. We haven’t been around for a long time. Even though our fights are exciting and our fan base is huge, we just need the exposure. I know in time people will pick it up. I see myself as a pioneer at 135, and I think in five or ten years, the 135-pound weight class will be one of the most popular weight classes out there along with 145 and 125.”