Tecia Torres is not getting the fight she wanted this weekend. Of course, the strawweight veteran is grateful to be competing — and thankful that LFA alum Sam Hughes is stepping up on short notice.
But when it comes down to it, Torres (11-5) isn’t getting her first choice. Or second. Or even fifth.
Torres was supposed to face Angela Hill, in a rematch of their 2015 meeting. When Hill was forced off the UFC 256 card because of a COVID-19 positive, Torres tried to secure a fight with… well just about anyone.
“Me and Mick [Maynard, UFC matchmaker] went back and forth for two days trying to find an opponent. I asked for for everyone above me,” she told Cageside Press during a UFC 256 media day this week. “I asked for Carla [Esparza], Michelle [Waterson], Claudia [Gadelha], Yan [Xiaonan], all those girls. And none of them — either they were not available, or they said ‘No.’ I don’t know what the whole spiel was. But [Maynard] said really, the only way I could get a fight is if we signed somebody new.”
So Torres told Maynard to go ahead and do just that. “I want to fight, I haven’t fought since June. I want to get in some ring time and go out there and get a win.”
Heading into her last fight — which she ultimately won — Torres found her back against the wall, mired in a four-fight slump. The way she looks at it, however, “I had some tough fights. I’m the only one in my division who fought all five of the UFC 115 pound champions.”
That she has. Three of them in a row — Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade, and Weili Zhang, though none held gold at the time. “And the fights that I’ve had with them have all gone to decision. Nothing’s happened to me in the fights. It’s basically, they outpointed me or took me down. I wasn’t able to do what I need to do. Nothing happened and you see fights with them fighting these other girls and they’re TKO’ing them, destroying them, bloodying them up.”
With that in mind, the losses, Torres said, were more a matter of her mindset, and her mental health. But “going in there in my last fight and getting a win gave me some extra motivation to want to be at the top again, and want to go for that title.”
While Torres believes short-notice opponent Hughes “looks like a tough girl,” she admitted that “in all honesty, I never heard of her before Friday, so I had to Google her.” Which is probably why the “Tiny Tornado” believes that a win over Hughes won’t really change her fortunes much.
Torres does, however, hope to land an opponent in the top ten moving forward. “I would definitely like a top 10 opponent. I’ve been asking for a top 10 opponent,” said Torres, who noted that she had two fights fall through this year, and fought a relatively new fighter in Brianna Van Buren. “I went in there and dominated [Van Buren], now this fight. I was supposed to have Angela [Hill] who’s who’s ranked I think one or two below me. So I really would like to have a top 10 opponent going into my next fight after this one.”
Watch the full UFC 256 virtual media day pres scrum with Tecia Torres above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.