FIGHTING WORDS: TECIA TORRES
Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres looks to install herself as a force to be reckoned with when she returns to the Invicta FC cage on July 13th at Invicta FC 6.
Asking for and receiving a bout with fellow undefeated prospect Rose Namajunas, Torres wants to show she is the future of a deep and competitive Strawweight division. Training out of the vaunted American Top Team in Florida, Torres will attempt to take the next step towards the top of the division on July 13th.
Corey Smith: You first entered into martial arts via kickboxing at a very young age. How did that come about? How long did you stick exclusively with kickboxing?
Tecia Torres: My mom placed me in karate when I was 5 and I loved it, so I stayed until college. I wanted something more and found Muay Thai in 2008. About 8 months after I began I was introduced to BJJ and quickly started competing in tournaments. After I got my blue belt and had about 15 ammy fights, I decided I would try MMA in September 2011. I continued to fight both MMA and kickboxing. By the time Invicta called me to make my pro debut in October 2012, I already had 27 total ammy fights. I was ready!
CS: Your first exposure to MMA was when it was made popular by EliteXC and Strikeforce. At that point did you have much submission or grappling experience? How did you go about making the transition to MMA?
TT: By the time I stepped into the cage for the first time I was already a blue belt, so I was comfortable when the fight ended up on the ground. The transition was very smooth. I enjoyed MMA very much, so that it became my main focus.
CS: After a perfect 7-0 record as an amateur, you have gone pro and won your first two fights. What grade would you give your career and progress so far?
TT: I believe thus far in my martial arts journey I have taken all the right steps at the right times. Never rushing it, always looking to improve and go from there. A solid “A” grade for my determination, talent, and will to succeed.
CS: American Top Team is one of the largest and most successful camps in Mixed Martial Arts. How do you benefit from working with such a camp?
TT: ATT is so widely diverse. We have many different talented people from all over the world at our gym. I benefit from a variety of teaching skills and diverse looks into the fighting world. There are fighters of all weight classes and various elite promotions all the time, so I’m never far away from talented people or people who can help me.
CS: Jessica Aquilar, considered to be among the best female athletes currently fighting, trains out of ATT. What type of non-physical advice does she give you?
TT: In the gym, it’s a time and place to be professional. I go to learn, train, and put work in. Leave everything and anything else outside the door when I walk in.
CS: You will be making your third appearance for Invicta on July 13th. How has your experience with the company been like so far? What types of things do they do to make the whole process run as smoothly as possible?
TT: Janet, Shannon, and everyone behind the Invicta banner are all superb and second to none. My experience thus far has been amazing. I am honored to fight for such an elite, well run and organized promotion. Invicta is great to everyone; fans and fighters alike.
TT: From the moment we arrive everything is set up for us, so our focus is making weight and fight night. I love how we have a set schedule with things to do. Every aspect has been taken care of… It’s the little things that make us feel special. Having someone to braid our hair, welcoming us with a gift package, shuttle bus, nice hotel, access to sauna, lists goes on and on. Invicta in one word = Awesome!
CS: Your opponent at Invicta FC 6 is Rose Namajunas, someone who is quickly becoming a fan favorite. How much can a crowd reaction sway your performance?
TT: I know that Rose is very well known and will have quite a crowd at the time of our fight. The crowd can only make me stronger. Whether they are rooting for or against me, I will push on and fight my fight.
CS: You spoke about how Rose was the opponent that you wanted the most. Why was that? How do you expect the fight to go?
TT: Rose vs me is the most logical fight. The fans wanted it, and so did I. We both are basically the young guns and future of Invicta. We are young, talented, and undefeated.
TT: We made our professional debuts with Invicta. It’s our homebase. I wanted it, or more so, knew the fight was coming. Rose and I make for an exciting matchup. I expect it to go the distance, and I foresee us both being each others biggest test to date.
CS: The 115lb division is one of the deepest divisions in Invicta. What are your thoughts overall on the division and your place in it?
TT: The division as a whole is freakishly talented from the bottom up. I see the belt-holder changing many times over the next few title defenses. I believe I am one of the up and comers to watch out for and that a win over Rose would definitely set the pace for what is to come from me in the division.
CS: On fight night, what is your mood like? Do you prefer to be left alone to focus? Or do you like to distract yourself in some way?
TT: Fight night I go into Princess mode. I like things a certain way. I like to be talkative, listen to my music, laugh with my corners, and be happy. I walk up to the cage smiling, in no way being disrespectful, but because I am truly happy to be there in that moment.
TT: Not many people get to experience what we do. Nor will they ever understand the feelings you get just minutes or seconds before you step in front of someone knowing they want the very same thing you want and you’ve come to take it away.
CS: Outside of the cage, what types of activities do you enjoy? What helps you to mentally unwind?
TT: I like the normal simple stuff. Being with my good friends, going to the beach, movies, and going out to eat.
CS: You also spoke about wanting to use your education after your fighting career is over. What type of education is that? And how would you want to use it?
TT: I have a Bachelors degree; double majoring in criminal justice and sociology. I graduated college in Aug 2010. I would like to work for a non-profit when I decide to slow things down one day.
CS: Lastly, MMA is as much a team sport as it is an individual one. Who would you like to thank?
TT: I would like to thank God for giving me the strength and ability to wake up every day and do what I love.
TT: My friends, fans, and family for all their unconditional love and support. My teammates and coaches for pushing me and teaching me everything I know.
TT: My sponsors for believing in my talents. American Top Team, Brawl and Maul, Dawgs Forever, Forever Dawgs, Awakening Female Fighters, Slept, Babes of MMA, and Klench Mouthguards.