by Matt Lo Cascio
Miguel Torres had just finished his first fight at the Hammond Civic Center in seven years — and he was ready for more.
“Who wants to see me fight here again?” Torres asked the crowd during his post-fight interview.
Torres soundly defeated Team Top Notch’s Giovanni Moljo in his first United Combat League fight, using speed and crisp striking as his main weapons. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Torres, who earned his first win in over two years.
Torres took control of the cage from the start of the fight and never relinquished it. He commanded the pace of the fight and backed down Moljo repeatedly, landing solid combinations throughout each of the three rounds. The well-known Torres ground game did not make an appearance, as the fight never made it to the ground. There were no takedown attempts by either fighter.
Moljo struggled with Torres’ speed from the first bell, and at times seemed more occupied with the hecklers in the crowd than he did with his opponent. He acknowledged them several times throughout the bout, including one instance where he replied to an audible taunt with both middle fingers raised high for the whole crowd to see. Moljo also tried to walk over to Torres’ corner after the end of a round but was stopped.
While Torres was free and fluid with his hands throughout all three rounds, Moljo’s corner was left to continually plead with their fighter to throw anything, especially in round three when Moljo was clearly behind on the scorecards. He was unable and perhaps unwilling to get in a firefight with the former WEC bantamweight champion. He never found a good rhythm, mostly due to Torres’ speed and constant pressure.
If this was to be a tune-up fight for Torres, consider the spark plugs changed and gapped and the tank filled with gas. Torres never labored with his breathing and looked fresh after 15 minutes of fighting. He easily could have have went five rounds, and that was after pushing the pace for all three rounds against Moljo. His hands looked fast and his stance resembled the one employed during his WEC championship reign. Torres worked with long-time striking coach Gene Calderon for this fight, and that seemed to have made a difference.
Rumor has it that next up for Torres is a showdown with a much bigger name, one you’ve all heard of and seen fight many times. But nothing has been signed or officially determined just yet. Until then, Torres will savor a solid win in front of his hometown fans. Just like old times.