Every fight is a big fight when you are a professional mixed martial artist, especially when you are in the UFC. But there are some fights that are so big that winning them could change the course of your life. For UFC strawweight Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (10-1), her fight against heavy-handed Brazilian fighter, Jessica Andrade (17-6) in the co-main event this Saturday night at UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Stephens is that fight. “This is definitely my biggest and toughest fight I’ve had,” said Torres. “I believe this fight has title implications behind it.”
With Torres’ only loss in the UFC being to now UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, a win over Andrade could set up a championship rubber match later this year as Torres herself holds a win over Namajunas. “I’m trying to focus on Jessica right now but at the end of the day that’s the big picture that Id like,” explained Torres. “But as of right now I need to focus on Jessica and getting through her this weekend.”
As Andrade is known for her bully-style of fighting, Torres’ in your face style matches up perfectly and has even said that their fight is the real main event of the night. “She’s a girl who can intimidate others because she is a bully in there and she comes in with a barrage of punches,” said Torres. “But at the end of the day we are both human, we are both female and we both have a set of skills that can do some damage.”
Since making her debut in the UFC in 2014, Torres’ has lived up to her “Tiny Tornado” nickname keeping herself busy inside the ring and outside as well. And this year may be her busiest yet as she got engaged last year to current UFC bantamweight fighter Raquel Pennington and along with winning the title has wedding day wishes for the end of the year. “It’s pretty awesome and I’m blessed and grateful for having her and being able to pursue the same dream together,” explained Torres. “Later this year in the fall we’d love to get married but right now I’m focused on my fight. Hopefully after my fight I’ll have a month at least to just focus on that and if not it may get postponed because some big things are happening for her as well.”
As the pioneers of women’s MMA like Ronda Rousey, Misha Tate and Gina Carano have all moved on to different chapters in their lives, Torres looks at herself as one of those women now and loves how far women’s MMA has come in the last few years and is excited to see where it goes in the future. “Over the past few years women’s MMA has just evolved so much and it’s exciting to see that little girls are looking up to us and it as a potential career in the future,” said Torres. “I’m excited to be a part of an era where being strong and athletic is something to look up to because growing up; there weren’t role models like that. I’m just really happy to be a part of this moment.”
And on Saturday night, making the most of her moment against Andrade could mean opening the door for many more memorable moments showing people what type of a fighter she really is. “They’ll see a very talented fighter,” explained Torres. “Someone whose athletic, strong, tough, has grit and is willing to put it all on the line to get that win.”
Tecia Torres will face Jessica Andrade in the co-main event fight at UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Stephens this Saturday night, February 24th live on Fox. 8pm ET/5pm PT.
Photo credit: Getty Images/Zuffa, LLC.