To anyone watching, it sure didn't look like a professional debut.
Former amateur strawweight star Tecia Torres (1-0) looked like a seasoned veteran as she dominated another former amateur standout in Kaiyana Rain (0-1) for the better part of three rounds on her way to a unanimous-decision win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
The bout was part of the preliminary card of Invicta FC 3, which took place Saturday at Kansas City, Kan.'s Memorial Hall. The event streamed live on InvictaFC.com (watch the full Torres-Rain fight).
The 23-year-old American Top Team product used her patented muay Thai and kickboxing to win the majority of the exchanges and cruise to victory.
"Once the bell rings, it's just me and her, and it's like another sparring session at the gym," Torres told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com
) following her win.
Torres was a combined 16-4 in kickboxing and muay Thai bouts to go along with her unblemished 7-0 amateur MMA record heading into the contest.
After a competitive start to the opening round, Torres rocked Rain late with a flurry of punches, which had her visibly hurt and backpedaling. However, Torres was unable to finish.
"I knew she was going to come in there wanting to bang with me," Torres said. "She likes to fight like that. She likes to brawl."
In the second and third frames, Torres repeatedly landed punches and kicks at range, avoided counters, landed knees in the clinch, and bloodied her opponent's face in the process.
"(The) game plan going into it was definitely to keep the fight standing," she said. "I wanted to own the ring, control the ring, stay inside the 'star' area, and stay away from the cage. I think I listened to my corner well. I used my movement. I went in, I hit her, I moved off, and I made her miss. Sometimes I would back up, but when I backed up, I got back on track and went back to my game plan. I think what won me the fight this time was my boxing, my hands."
Not to be overlooked was the gainful improvements she demonstrated in the grappling department. Torres was able to defend the first two takedowns attempted by Rain with ease. Late in the third round, Rain got her to the mat using a bulldog choke. However, Torres took her back in the process and worked a rear0naked choke.
"Most of my fights have been standup fights, but like I showed today, I was able to keep myself on my feet," Torres said. "When she did bring it to the ground, I was able to get her back in a secure, tight position. It's definitely a work in progress. It's definitely not like my standup, but it's coming."