In the UFC’s newest weight class, however, you’d be hard pressed to say the world’s best aren’t fully represented. Women’s strawweight, after all, was plucked from Invicta FC, whose job it was to find all of the top talent and put it under one roof.
The undefeated Tecia Torres (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is among 16 fighters at 125 pounds who currently are filming “The Ultimate Fighter 20″ in Las Vegas. The long-running reality show promises a unique twist this time around – to crown the first UFC champion in the division. But Torres told MMAjunkie Radio the show’s winner should also be considered the dominant fighter at strawweight.
“I think whoever wins this show will be No. 1 in the world,” she said. “The top-10 girls are in the UFC now; they were in Invicta, and now they’re in the UFC. So I believe whoever wins this show will be No. 1 in the world.”
Torres has heard criticism about recent “TUF” competitors lacking enthusiasm in earlier rounds as they attempt to navigate their way through the tournament. She said she has no plans on conserving herself for later in the competition, which pits fighters against each other in an elimination tournament under opposing coaches. This season, lightweight champion Anthony Pettis leads a squad opposite onetime title challenger Gilbert Melendez.
“I’m going in for the kill,” Torres said. “I want to go into every fight very aggressive and hungry for the win. I won’t relax at any point in the fight. I know it’s a two-round fight, and if it does have to go to three rounds, I’m more than capable and ready for that. But girls are vicious, and I know these girls are going to try to tear my head off, so I’m going to try and do that same.”
Although the 24-year-old fighter anticipates being able to get along with others in the cramped and stimulus-free environment of the reality show set, she said she’ll have no trouble turning off her personal feelings for the demands of the show.
Torres already has an idea of the coach she’d like to train under, though she acknowledged benefits to working with Pettis or Melendez.
“I like Team Pettis,” she said. “But I’d be more than happy to be on Team Melendez, as well. I have some of my coaches who actually want me to be on that team. But I still tell them I want Pettis.
“One (reason I want to be coached by Pettis) is because he’s Puerto Rican and I’m Puerto Rican. But the other reason is I really like his striking style, and if I’m to add to my striking game, he’d be the one to do it.
“But if was on Melendez’s team, I could definitely use new skills in wrestling and jiu-jitsu.”
For Torres, however, her goal is simple: Win her fights on the show, then win the finale to secure the first women’s strawweight belt. After all, the title of world’s best isn’t a bad one to carry around.