WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt over the weekend from Carlson Gracie Jr. -- son of the late Carlson Gracie Sr. who was "Angel’s" mentor before he died in 2006.
The ceremony was "low-key," according to MMAFighting.com, which had an insider, Jay Valko, present at Torres Martial Arts Academy in Hammond, Ind., where the festivities took place.
Here is his assessment:
"It wasn't too fancy, just a promotion and a small speech from Jr. about how he was just doing what his dad would be doing if he were still around…. A few years ago Carlson Sr. was going around saying he has a 135-pounder that would beat on everyone. No one believed him at the time but now Miguel is proving the old man correct."
Indeed, when he was alive Gracie Sr. went on Brazilian television and dared anyone to come down to the gym put their skills to the test against Torres -- he had that much faith in him.
No one pounced on the offer, which more than likely indicates how much respect people in the know had for the elder Gracie. His word carried a ton of weight.
Torres has enjoyed what many would consider a breakout year in terms of popularity and exposure due in large part to winning the 135-pound title from Chase Beebe back in February and then defending it several months later against Yoshiro Maeda in a "Fight of the Year" candidate.
However, he has been a major regional star for sometime now, headlining shows throughout the Midwest and selling out venues wherever he competed prior to his WEC debut.
Now he gets to do the same for a major mixed martial arts promotion. And he gets to do it with a gold strap and black belt wrapped around his waist.
It’s been a banner year for Torres without a doubt. And he is still not finished – he will compete one more time against Manny Tapia at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 3.
Hopefully for him all the hard work he puts in continues to pay big dividends.
Thanks to CombatLifestyle.com for the image.