If this is a new chapter in Miguel Torres' career, he certainly isn't acting like much has changed.
And at its most base level, nothing really has. Today, Torres, an East Chicago native, still will climb inside a cage and fight against another 135-pounder in front of a big crowd and on a national TV broadcast.
But for the first time in years, Torres will be doing it outside the banner of Zuffa, owners of the UFC and Torres' home before that, the now-defunct WEC.
Torres was released from his UFC contract this past summer on the heels of a knockout loss in April.
His next act commences today in Las Vegas when Torres (40-5) meets Marlon Moraes (8-4-1) on the main card of the upstart World Series of Fighting's debut event, which takes place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. World Series of Fighting 1's five-fight main card airs live at 9:30 p.m.
But Torres appears to be treating the fight as business as usual.
"I think it's going to be a great fight," he said. "I had a great training camp in Montreal. I know Moraes is going to come bring it. I trained with him before, so I know his standup is very good. I think it's going to be an exciting fight, so I can't wait."
At UFC 145 in April, Torres was knocked out by Michael McDonald in the first round in Atlanta. But it wasn't until mid-summer that he let the MMA world know he had been released by the promotion.
Torres initially signed with Titan Fighting Championship for a card that was planned for today in Hammond, where the bantamweight owns Torres Martial Arts Academy. But Titan was purchased by a Vegas-based promotion, and Torres elected to sign with WSOF for its debut card.
It's a chance to fight again, and it's also a chance to be back on a televised card. WSOF 1 airs live on the NBC Sports Network (formerly the Versus cable network).
Torres is presumed to have a distinct advantage on the ground against his far less experienced opponent. But the two did train together for a brief time at Torres' part-time camp in Florida at Imperial Athletics – so he takes nothing for granted.
"The biggest thing, I think, in this fight is we both know each other very well," Torres said. "He knows what I'm good at and I know what he's good at. Every fight starts standing, and I know that's his strong point. I've been training a lot on my standup and a lot on my wrestling. Everyone knows I want to put him on the ground, but I'm going to stand with him first, for sure."
It's standing with McDonald that got Torres in trouble in April, though he blamed himself for falling back into his "reckless" ways in that fight and not following the game plan laid out by coach Firas Zahabi, who runs the Tristart Gym in Montreal where Torres spent the tail end of this training camp.
Today will prove if that fight was a lesson learned for Torres and if he can rebound in his new home.