24 year old prospect Tracy Cortez has had a red-hot start to her MMA career since going pro, and she’s looking to keep her success going in her Combate Americas debut against Karen Cedillo.
The last time many fans saw Cortez, she was in one of the most exciting flyweight bouts of the year where she throttled Kaitlyn Neil in Invicta FC. It was an impressive victory, but with only so many events per year and a roster spanning several weight classes, finding fights became difficult. “Invicta couldn’t find me an opponent. So it was one of those decisions where I didn’t want to miss one fight waiting for another fight. So my manager and coaches and I made the best decision we could. I’m still signed with Invicta. They’re very flexible. It’s a great company. They let me fight other places if they can’t find me a fight. That’s why I’ve been able to be so active in my career so far.”
It wasn’t her original plan to have such an active schedule, but Cortez sees the state of MMA on the regional and elite level and knew she wanted a different path. “I knew once I did go pro, there aren’t a lot of women so it’s hard to find a fight. You see the guys fight, one opponent backs out and another one doesn’t want to take it. I didn’t want that. I really wanted to stay active this year. I think that’s why I’m 3-1 this year because I did want to stay active this year and my manager has kept me active.”
She has all the makings of a top prospect, something her 30k Instagram followers have all noticed. All of it is even more remarkable considering she only began fighting a short while ago. “My brothers were all in wrestling and then they started boxing and it went from there. I started getting picked up by my coach every day to go to the gym because we were having some family issues. I needed something to get out and this was my get away.”
Her Combate Americas debut has taken a slight detour, with original opponent Brandi Narvaez pulling out of the fight and being replaced with Karen Cedillo. But while they are not favorable circumstances, Cortez is not lacking for confidence entering the bout. “They notified me about two and a half to three weeks ago, so it still gave me enough time to prepare and just focus on myself and better myself. It’s not a big deal to me. I’m just going to go in there and do what I do best: Fight.”
Furthermore, she will enter the bout carrying a stronger home field advantage than even headliner José Alday. While there can be distractions from one’s inner circle when competing close to home, Cortez feels it will only give her an edge in the fight. “It’s at the Celebrity Theater so it’s literally 15-20 minutes from my house. I tell this to a lot of people, they think I get nervous fighting in my hometown. In reality, that’s where I think I have my best performances. I honestly feel the crowd’s energy and the vibe. I don’t want to say it’s overwhelming but it’s a good feeling you know, having them cheer for me.”
She’s unapologetically confident in her abilities, and she predicts another impressive outing for herself again tonight. “I’m going to put the pressure on this girl and break this girl and hopefully she gives up.”
Tracy Cortez will face Karen Cedillo in the co-main event of Combate Americas: Alday vs Lopez tonight on DAZN in English and Univision & Univision Deportes in Spanish.