Tecia Torres stands face to face with Carla Esparza. Photo Credit: Esther Lin-Invicta FC

Tecia Torres goes from prospect to possible contender

Tecia Torres went from an undefeated prospect to a breakout star at last night’s Invicta FC 7 event.

When the announcement came that Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig was going to face “The Tiny Tornado” in her debut in the Invicta cage, fans knew that this would be a good scrap on the feet. In the seconds leading up to the fight, fans and even the commentators were expressing their excitement as both combatants made their way to the cage.

Once the first bell rang, few could guess that Torres would outmatch Herrig in the stand up for almost the entire 15 minutes, yet I watched Florida-native fire off five to seven punches in exchanges where Herrig threw one to three, I kept thinking to myself “this is the Torres the fans have been waiting for.”

Props have to be given to Herrig for finishing the fight and getting off some good shots of her own and enduring those flurries of strikes coming from The Tornado.

After the decision was finished, fans watched as Invicta FC Strawweight champion Carla Esparza walked into the cage with her title over her shoulder. Esparza had originally been scheduled to defend her title against Claudia Gadelha; however the Brazilian fighter had to withdraw from the match due to illness. With her belt over her shoulder, “The Cookie Monster” took the microphone and called out Torres, who thought Esparza actually wanted to exchange words in the cage.

One way to look at this is that Esparza wants revenge against Torres for defeating Herrig. Another view is that The Cookie Monster was impressed by Torres’ performance and wants to have a tussle with the Tiny Tornado at a future Invicta event. Either way, Torres is now on the champion’s radar, which is one path to get a championship match.

It’s one thing for a challenger to chase a champion, but it’s another when the champion looks at that the prospective challenger and says “I want to fight this person.”

Esparza calling out Torres raised some eyebrows as fans wondering if undefeated Scottish striking sensation Joanne Calderwood, who grinded out a decision victory over previously unbeaten Finish fighter Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpä, might be getting passed over in terms of who fights Esparza for the title.

On one hand, Calderwood’s 8-0 record and success in the Invicta cage gives her validation to be named the No. 1 contender for the Invicta FC Strawweight title.

On the other hand, Torres’s overall experience in combat sports, her impressive victories over Herrig and Rose Namajunas  and the fact that Esparza wants to fight The Tiny Tornado, makes a good case for Torres getting the next crack at The Cookie Monster’s gold.

However Invicta may decide to try and match Gadelha and Esparza if the Brazilian fighter heals in time. If that is the case, I could see a Calderwood vs.Torres title-eliminator bout could be made for the next Invicta FC event.

Whether or not she gets the next shot at the Invicta 115-pound title, there is no denying that Torres was one of the many fighters who had an amazing 2013 and will continue to rise in the ranks in the next year.


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Tags: Carla Esparza Invicta FC MMA Tecia Torres Women's MMA

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