Photo via CombatLifestyle.com
It's the superfight everyone wanted to see -- back in June 2008.
The mixed martial arts world was an entirely different place back then. Randy Couture was still five months away from losing his heavyweight title to Brock Lesnar. Fedor Emelianenko was still untouchable. Quinton Jackson was one month away from dropping a controversial decision to Forrest Griffin.
They both competed at WEC 34 in defenses of their bantamweight and featherweight titles, respectively. Torres retained his with an impressive doctor stoppage victory over Yoshiro Maeda, Faber his by going the distance and dominating Jens Pulver.
Hell, both fights actually tied for "Fight of the Night" honors.
That event was watched by 1.5 million viewers on Versus, a staggering number for its time. In fact, the UFC struggles to draw numbers like that today.
Coming out of the evening, both fighters were in the discussion for the pound-for-pound best. Torres was an otherworldly 35-1 while Faber held an equally impressive record of 21-1.
All anybody wanted was to see how the two would do against one another. It would have been the biggest fight in the history of the WEC.However, the promotion failed to capitalize on the opening and both fighters found difficulty ahead. Faber lost his 145-pound title just one fight later, while it took Torres two to lose his.
Today, both men are 3-3 in their last six bouts and both are coming off losses in closely contested fights. And this time around, they both compete in the same division.
That's why Torres thinks the timing, all things considered, couldn't be better to finally match them up. Of course it won't be nearly as meaningful as it could have been but better late than never, right?
Here's what the East Chicago, Ind., native had to say to ESPN:
"Now, there's only bragging rights. He's coming off a loss. I'm coming off a loss. He's had four title shots since then. He lost twice to Mike Brown, to Jose Aldo and now to Dominick Cruz. I lost fights to one of his students [Joseph Benavidez] and Brian Bowles. All the momentum we both had, we kind of lost. That fight is still one fans want to see, but I think this fight a couple years ago would have been a lot bigger. It'd be a great fight for me because I never had the chance to fight him and we were on top for a long time. What sucks is we both don't really have as much to gain as we did two years ago, but it's still a fight I'm looking forward to."
Not as much to gain, indeed ... and maybe more to lose.
However, the conundrum at the top of the bantamweight division almost demands that this fight finally occur. With Faber having just lost to Dominick Cruz and Dana White not too keen on an immediate rematch, he needs an opponent.
Who better suited than Torres?