Following Invicta FC 6 Win, Tecia Torres Eyes Top 10 Spot At 115One of MMA’s brightest female prospects, Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres, made it three-for-three under the Invicta Fighting Championships banner with a Unanimous Decision win at Invicta FC 6 on July 13th. Torres defeated highly-touted “Thug” Rose Namajunas in a featured bout on the main card.

Torres has won all ten of her pro and amateur fights dating back to her MMA debut in September 2011 and the talented 23-year-old is one of the fastest-rising stars in the women’s strawweight division. Torres recently spoke with about her next goal, which is to crack the top ten at 115.

Even in the early stages of her amateur career, it was clear that Torres (3-0-0 pro; 10-0-0 MMA) was poised to one day be a top contender. The kickboxing convert won all seven of her amateur MMA bouts in a span of fewer than ten months and she did so against formidable opponents. Torres capped off her amateur career with three straight title victories including a five-round domination of Ashley Greenway and an impressive win over fellow prospect Amber Stautzenberger, who is now 3-1 as a pro.

Torres’s quick rise to the top of the amateur ranks attracted the attention of Invicta FC officials, who promptly signed her and scheduled her pro debut for this past October. At Invicta FC 3, Torres faced fellow three-time amateur champion Kaiyana Rain. Torres controlled the fight on the feet and walked away with a clear-cut Unanimous Decision win. Three months later at Invicta FC 4, Torres earned her second professional victory by outpointing the previously undefeated Paige VanZant.

Throughout her career, Torres took gradual steps up in competition in order to continue to test herself, but each time she remained a favourite with the oddsmakers. For her most recent fight at Invicta FC 6, however, Torres entered as an underdog for the first time. Her opponent, Namajunas, also held an undefeated record that included two wins as a pro, and she was coming off of a sensational 12-second flying armbar win in her most recent fight at Invicta FC 5. Torres knew that she had a tough challenge ahead of her, but she was motivated by the underdog role.

The bout between Torres and Namajunas made history as the first Invicta FC fight to air live on televised pay-per-view. In the opening round, Torres landed quick punches and body kicks and avoided counters from Namajunas. She took Namajunas down near the cage, but Namajunas was active with submission attempts. The fight returned to the feet and Namajunas jumped into a flying armbar that she used to pull Torres back down to the mat. The armbar had Torres in some trouble, but she stayed calm and finished the round strong with some nice ground and pound from the top.

After proving that she could hold her own on the ground in round one, Torres was dominant on the feet in the middle stanza. She kept Namajunas on the defensive with flurries of punches and side kicks to the body. Namajunas rallied with a takedown in the final round and she kept Torres pinned down on the mat for much of the final five minutes. Torres once again showed off her underrated grappling by trapping Namajunas in an armbar, but Namajunas escaped the hold and closed out the fight on top.

Both fighters received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd as they awaited the official scores following the action-packed fight. All three judges scored the bout for Torres, who took the Unanimous Decision win in what was clearly her best performance to date against her toughest opponent.


Revisit the Invicta FC 6 bout with “All Angles: Torres vs Namajunas.”


“I wanted it to stay standing for the most part and she came in there and wanted to strike with me, so it made me really happy that she stuck to her guns and did what she said she was going to do, which was stand with me,” Torres says of the fight. “I kept moving forward or off to the side and never really moved back. That was my game plan, to keep moving forward or step off. I felt really good.

“I got to showcase some of my jiu-jitsu defence and a little bit of offence at the end of the fight when I went for that armbar,” she adds. “And I got that hip toss in the first round that led to some nice ground and pound. I just felt like everything came together for this fight and you could definitely see a big improvement from my last fight with Paige.”

Torres had expected to hold an edge in the striking exchanges due to her experience in kickboxing, where she racked up a 16-4 record as an amateur and won her pro debut on May 4th. However, she knew that Namajunas was well-versed at incorporating kicks into her striking arsenal and she admits that Namajunas did better on the feet than she had anticipated. Torres was happy to get the decision win over a tough opponent, but feels that she needs to sit down more on her punches in order to land with greater power and hopefully score a knockout in her next bout.

Of her armbar escape in the first round, Torres credits last-minute drills that helped her to prepare and react to the situation. She states that she often learns better by cramming information shortly before a fight so that it is fresh in her mind. When she did find herself trapped in the armbar, Torres stayed calm and remembered what she had practised in the days leading up to the bout.

“I knew that if there was a place that [Namajunas] was going to beat me, it was going to be on the ground,” Torres says. “When she went for that flying armbar, it wasn’t a surprise because I knew that she had done it before. The armbar was definitely there and it could have been finished, but I didn’t feel at any point that I was in danger.

“I just did what Jessica Aguilar says, which is to stay calm and don’t overexcite yourself. That’s what I do sometimes, is overexcite myself and try to go for strength because I’m strong. So just to stay calm and remember what we had gone over, and so I did the turnout like I was supposed to and got out. And then Jessica says, ‘You make them miss, you make them pay,’ so after I got out of [the armbar] I came back with my ground and pound to show the judges that [the round was ending] in my favour.”


Thanks to her strong finish, Torres took round one on the scorecards and that ultimately helped to propel her to victory over Namajunas. She credits her American Top Team coaches and teammates, including Aguilar, Ediane Gomes and Thais Souza, for preparing her for the fight. She also extends a special thanks to impromptu cornerwoman Diana Rael, who stepped in to help Torres after her own teammate’s fight was cancelled.

“Diana and Cassie [Robb] and I all met at [Invicta FC 4] in January when I fought Paige,” Torres recalls. “We ended up hanging out at the afterparty. Diana was just like, ‘When you’re stuck on the cage, you gotta get your ass down,’ because that was how Paige did those hip tosses on me. So throughout this entire camp for [fighting] Rose, that’s what I remembered every time off the cage was ‘ass down.’ I told Diana that and it was funny.

“I came to this Invicta fight with just my Muay Thai coach and I didn’t have anybody for jiu-jitsu. Ediane and Jessica told me I’d be fine and just to do what I did in the gym, but in my mind I knew that I needed somebody to help me. So when Cassie’s fight fell through, I asked if Diana could help me with jiu-jitsu. She came to the back and helped me warm up and worked on timing with me, so it worked out well. And she’s really loud, so that helped me, too. She really was a part of my win because, without her, I wouldn’t have known my times or when to push it at the end.”

Torres had initially thought that she might be matched up against Namajunas at Invicta FC 5 in April, but she is thankful to have had the extra months to prepare. Thanks to support from key sponsors Brawl and Maul Fight Performance Gear and Dawg Forever Forever Dawg, Torres took ten weeks off of work to train full-time for the fight and she believes that that was crucial in allowing her to develop the skills needed to defeat Namajunas. She hopes to be able to continue to train full-time for future fights.


In the hours after the fight, Torres and Namajunas swapped stories about their respective upbringings and journeys in martial arts. Torres speaks highly of Namajunas, whom she expects to win her next fight with another flying armbar. Torres herself hopes to be back in action at Invicta FC 7 in October or November and she’s eager to face another credible opponent in order to enter the strawweight top ten.

“I definitely think that my next [MMA] fight will legitimise a top-ten spot at 115,” she says. “I think that [Invicta] will keep pushing the 115-pound division, and I think that the title will change hands a couple of times by the time I get to it. At least two or three titleholders by the time I get a crack at it.

“When Claudia [Gadelha] fights Carla Esparza, it’s going to be a tough fight for Carla,” she adds. “I befriended Claudia at [Invicta FC 4] when she was supposed to fight Carla. I think that’s going to be a really good fight and I can see the belt changing [hands]. I’m just inching my way up and my main goal is just to crack that top ten if I haven’t already. If I’m cracking the top ten in my third fight already, that fourth fight will really legitimise it and that’s going to make me very happy.”

Torres has her sights set on one day capturing the Invicta FC strawweight title that is currently held by Esparza, but she is in no rush to get to it. In an ideal scenario, Torres would like to challenge for the title in 12-18 months after winning four more fights. She intends to remain active in Muay Thai and gi grappling in order to develop an even more well-rounded skill set by the time that Invicta FC officials call upon her to fight for the belt.

In a mere 22 months, Torres has already accomplished more than many MMA fighters will achieve in their entire careers, but for “The Tiny Tornado,” the journey to the top is only just beginning.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, /

  1. Got to catch Tecia’s latest fight live and finally meet the Tiny Tornado at Invicta FC 6. Keep up the great work Tecia!! Big things ahead of you.