From day one, American Top Team’s Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres seemed like a natural fit for martial arts.

In 1995, a then five-year-old version of “The Tiny Tornado” found enjoyment in karate after her mother took her and her older sister to a karate school. Years later, at age 18, she started getting involved in kickboxing and Muay Thai. Before she even began her MMA career, she had 20 Muay Thai fights.

“It’s just transitioning from one thing to another—from kickboxing to Muay Thai to jiu-jitsu, and then to MMA,” Torres told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview.

On Sept. 23, 2011, Torres made that final transition, competing in her MMA debut against Ivey Turner. She would go to the second round with Turner before securing a victory at the 2:43 mark via rear-naked choke. The win over Turner marked the first of seven victories that Torres notched over the course of her amateur career. The 23-year-old always maintains confidence as she prepares to fight, but in the back of her mind, she can’t forget about the butterflies that come with the excitement of competition.

Torres (Joe Lapenna/teciatorres.com)

“I was nervous,” Torres said, “but I was excited as well.”

Part of the excitement that comes with a Tecia Torres bout lies in her fighting style. She possesses a well-rounded skill set, but excels with her striking, which, when blended with her aggression and speed, presents a hazard for anyone who steps in the cage with her.

“I’m very aggressive, I’m fast,” Torres said. “I do like to strike and stand, but my ground game is still very good.”

Torres will look to demonstrate that aggression and speed against Kaiyana Rain at Invicta FC 3, which takes place this Saturday at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., and streams live in its entirety on Invicta FC’s official website.

Rain owns a seven-fight amateur career, much like Torres. Her record reads as a 5-1-1 run, but from Torres’ standpoint, the Werdum Combat and Kings MMA fighter Rain, who serves as a training partner to Invicta FC 3 headliner Jessica Penne, presents a threat everywhere, even if no one has seen what she can do yet.

“She looks good on the ground, she looks good standing up,” Torres said. “I think she has dangerous stand-up like me, so that’s good. I’m not sure what belt she is in jiu-jitsu; I would assume she’s at least a blue or purple [belt].”

Though not much can be said about Rain before fight time, Torres knows to expect everything, offensively and defensively.

“I think she’s just going to be tough all-around. I think she’s going to bring it with her hands and be able to defend herself with the ground work.”

A look at both fighters’ records will show that the two women go the distance often when they look for a win. As a matter of fact, all of Rain’s amateur fights have gone to the scorecards, with one draw and one split decision loss to her name, while Torres owns five decision wins in her undefeated amateur career.

Still, if it goes to the judges, Torres will stay prepared. If not, Torres already knows how it will end, because she will do everything she can to end it on her terms.

Torres (Joe Lapenna/teciatorres.com)

“I think it might go all fifteen minutes, but if not, it could possibly end with a TKO or submission,” Torres said. “This is likely for her, as for me, but I do believe I will be coming with a victory.”

A victory for Torres in her pro debut could result in a trip back to Invicta for her next outing, but if her skills don’t show that Invicta is the place for Torres to prove herself as one of the sport’s top female fighters, Bellator or XFC could come calling before she knows it. Nonetheless, she aims to return for Invicta with a victory over Rain this weekend while progressing one fight at a time.

“The Bellator champion is my training partner, Jessica Aguilar, so I’m just looking to make a name for myself, Tecia, and just work my way up the ranks,” Torres explained. “I’d like to fight a better person each time to test my skills.”

As Torres progresses through the ranks, the competition will grow tougher and tougher. But as she prepares for Rain this weekend, the excitement drives Torres enough to remind her why she wouldn’t trade this for anything else in the world.

“I’m always nervous, but I’m excited. I love the adrenaline rush, I love the competition, [and] I love the crowds. The more people, the better, and the louder it is, the better.”

Top Photo: “The Tiny Tornado” Tecia Torres (Joe Lapenna/teciatorres.com)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.