Few fighters have had a faster rise than 24-year-old strawweight Tecia Torres. In a span of less than two years, Torres has gone from making her professional debut to competing on a season of The Ultimate Fighter that will crown the UFC’s inaugural women’s strawweight champion.
The American Top Team-based fighter kicked off her career in late 2012 under the Invicta banner with a decision victory over Kalyana Rain, and then she would go on to piece together three more decision victories over Felice Herrig, Rose Namajunas, and Paige VanZant.
Torres didn’t have much time to process her latest victory over Herrig before being invited to compete on The Ultimate Fighter.
“About four days after my last fight, I got a phone call around 10 o’clock at night – it said Nevada – and I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know who this is.’ I answered it and he said, ‘This is Dana White.’ I was shocked,” said Torres. “We had a 15-minute conversation. He told me how they got the contract, how they were doing The Ultimate Fighter and how it was going to be [for] a title shot.”
Although Torres is excited about the move to the UFC, she is still grateful for Invicta FC and the promotion’s president Shannon Knapp for providing a place for her to start her career.
“Working for Shannon and being under the Invicta banner was an awesome honor,” said Torres. “I made my professional debut there and had all of my pro fights with them. It was a really nice platform to start off with. Being on that platform, at such a high level, was pretty awesome. They definitely treated me very well – they treat all of their fighters well.”
Now, Torres moves on to be one of the cast members on the the twentieth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where she will either be coached by UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis or the last Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez.
While Torres won’t have a choice in who her coach is since the contestants on the show will be drafted by the two coaches, she does have a preference on who she would to be coached by.
“I don’t really know much about Melendez, so I would prefer Pettis because he comes from a striking-, kickboxing- and karate-type background,” she said. “I wouldn’t mind being on Melendez’s team. From what I hear, he has a very good ground and that would definitely help me as well.”
Regardless, Tecia Torres has amped up her training in preparation for the biggest opportunity in her young career.
“There’s a possibility of making a career out of this, so I’ve been working to nip and tuck everything I can, making sure everything is on point and I’m not lacking in any aspect of the game. I’ll definitely be ready for each and every one of the girls on TUF 20.”