The sheer strength of Jessica Andrade was too much for Tecia Torres to overcome at UFC Orlando on Saturday night.
Strawweight title fight implications were woven throughout the co-main event of UFC on FOX 28 Saturday night. A good performance from either Tecia Torres or Jessica Andrade could potentially boost either towards a shot at gold, depending on the outcome of Rome Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk later this year.
Torres looked more focused than ever prior to the opening bell. Not to be outdone, Jessica Andrade had a deadly stare.
Meeting in the middle off the opening bell, neither women looked like she wanted to take a step back, but Andrade forced the issue with a kick. Torres then landed with a right, but instead of stepping back, Andrade came forward with a flurry of strikes. Torres next landed a counter right, her second or third in only the first minute of round one. Andrade landed a right hand of her own when her takedown attempt was stuffed, and both girls were swinging hard. The key for Torres was to keep moving, as Andrade was having success when her target wasn’t mobile. However, Torres was landing as well, and perhaps a little cleaner. Incredibly, the spent nearly the entire round going at that pace, until Jessica Andrade scooped Torres up and slammed her down for a takedown just before the bell.
In the second, Andrade walked Torres down as Torres circled out of harm’s way. Having enough of that merry-go-round, Andrade again picked up Torres and slammed her down. This time, they landed in north-south position, and Andrade had plenty of time to work. However, Torres tried an inverted triangle from the bottom; the Brazilian Andrade easily escaped that. Torres was able to create some space, then threaten with upkicks to allow room for her to spring back to her feet.
Back on the feet, Torres landed more right hands, and later took the back of the standing Andrade only to be thrown off. Torres ate a couple of shots as she got back up, and Andrade again picked her up and slammed her down, this time finding herself in guard. The ‘Tiny Tornado’ worked for an arm-bar, but Andrade pulled free; Torres again grabbed an arm, but couldn’t hold the submission attempt. Tecia would try to drag Andrade down in a takedown attempt late in the round, but Andrade was simply too powerful.
Jessica Andrade had the fight to the ground early in round three, but Tecia Torres was quickly able to power back up. She looked for underhooks while her opponent pressed her back into the cage. After creating some space, Andrade once again got Torres back down; she deftly stepped into half guard, trapped an arm and began working both the body and the head with punches. Andrade was seemingly pulling away, building a lead Torres could not catch up to while on her back. Torres was able to take the back towards the end of the final frame. Andrade shook her off, though, and was back in control soon enough. As the bell sounded, it had become clear that Jessica Andrade had done more than enough to capture the victory. The win brings her that much closer to a second title shot.
Jessica Andrade def. Tecia Torres by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)