While Tecia Torres has not yet competed professionally, she'll be bringing a wealth of experience to the cage this Saturday night (Oct. 6, 2012) when she makes her pro debut at Invicta FC 3: Penne vs Sugiyama in Kansas City, Kansas.
Torres has a wealth of amateur kickboxing and mixed martial arts fights under her belt and she's collected a bevy of amateur titles along the way. After running her record to 7-0 in MMA, it was time to shift gears and go pro.
"The Tiny Tornado" doesn't have to go far to get world class sparring experience either, training at American Top Team (ATT) alongside top-ranked female strawweight Jessica Aguilar on a regular basis.
Torres will be taking on fellow pro-debuter Kaiyana Rain, who was also one of the best amateur female fighters in the United States. She spoke to MMAmania.com during a guest appearance on The Verbal Submission earlier this week about her elite training, why she felt it was time to turn pro and the origins of her unique nickname in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You were listed as one of the top-ranked amateur fighters out there. Can you talk about having that status and perhaps the pressures to go out and live up to the hype in your professional debut?
Tecia Torres: I enjoy it to be honest. I like that people are starting to notice and follow me more. It just makes me want to put on a better show if I perform well. I do understand that people expect me to do well and that's definitely more pressure on my shoulders but I just see it as another fight, a bigger challenge, a bigger promotion and more publicity. I'm looking forward to it. I definitely think this will be my toughest opponent yet. I know she's ready and I'm ready as well. I'm looking forward to showcasing my skills on the professional level and show the world what "The Tiny Tornado" is all about. I went undefeated as an amateur and I started with Muay Thai so I feel like I took the right route. I took a lot of fights in Muay Thai so I was ready for that and once my MMA was successful throughout this last year I decided I should go pro and try my hand there.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What was your process that got you interested in the journey from muay thai to amateur MMA to Invicta?
Tecia Torres: I started jiu-jitsu in no-gi and then I learned what MMA was when the whole Gina Carano craze was going about so I started in MMA. I started doing local competitions like the NAGA and other things. I made my amateur debut in September of 2011 and seven fights later, they'd all gone well so I just think it's time to step it up and see how I do with the professional girls.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've been incredibly active. As you mentioned, you made your amateur debut barely over a year ago and you've already fought seven times including five times this year. Can you talk about that?
Tecia Torres: I just try to stay as active and healthy as possible when I'm training. I hold a full-time job down as well and I get into the gym in the morning and after work. I don't drink or smoke but I still eat like a 12 year old. I've always been an athlete. My genetics are good and I've actually fought more than seven times. I fought 10 times this year if you include my muay thai kickboxing fights. It's been five kickboxing and five MMA already.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Where did the nickname "The Tiny Tornado" come from? Was that just from your history in the martial arts and loving to throw a lot of spinning attacks?
Tecia Torres: Exactly. I was asking some friends for nicknames and the one that stuck was "The Tiny Tornado" because I like to throw spinning kicks and I come from a karate background. I'm short at 5'1 and I'm fast so it works well with my name Tecia as well.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Is there any specific goal that you're hoping to accomplish this weekend? Are you just looking for the win or do you want to go out there and make a statement?
Tecia Torres: I definitely am going to go out there and win. If I could end it any way I'd love to put a stamp on it with a TKO or a submission. One or the other. I look forward to hopefully getting the stoppage but as long as I do my best I'll be happy.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned the full-time job on the side. I read that you work for a cruise line. Is that still the case?
Tecia Torres: I still work at the cruise line, yes. (laughs)
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you get any perks with that? Perhaps a free vacation or are you stuck in the office?
Tecia Torres: Yeah I'm in the office part of it so unfortunately no, no perks with that. A lot of customer relations and I deal with the last of it. We call ourselves the bottomfeeders because we get everything. Sometimes we book them. Sometimes we get complaints. It's a decent job and it allows me to fight so that's why I continue to work there. After fighting is up, I'd like to do other things and use my education.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You train out of American Top Team. How much of a help is it that you train side by side with the number one female in the world in your weight class in Jessica Aguilar?
Tecia Torres: It's definitely a big help. We fight in the same weight class and she's so talented. She's been in the game for a long time now and she knows all the tips and tricks that can help me. She calls me to make sure I do my drills at home so it's definitely an advantage that other female fighters wouldn't have. I definitely look up to her as both a fighter and a person. I enjoy it and I hope and aspire to be at her level one day.
You can follow Tecia on Twitter @TeciaTorres