Thursday, March 29, 2012
Sarah McLeod vs Tecia Torres Interviews
On April 13th two of the top strikers in amateur women's MMA will step into the cage against each other for Victory Fighting Championships, when Tecia Torres takes on Sarah McLeod. This fight has been starting to get some buzz behind it and its easy to see why. Not only are they two talented fighters who hit like a truck, but they both also have an ever growing fan base due to there always entertaining styles and there always positive attitudes. I was able to get both of them to do interviews about the fight, and will present them both to you now as one post.
Q: Last time we talked, you were just coming off a victory in Cleveland over Rebecca Gruitza. Since then you have had some big things happen, including a trip to Ireland. Can you talk about that?
A: Yeah, I went to Ireland to represent the United States at 114LBS on Team USA. In Ireland it was fun, it was my first time out of the country. Unfortunately I did not come home with the win. I lost to the second place finisher which was a nice girl from Poland named Zaneta. It was a full contact kickboxing fight, the first I ever had. It was different, more on points. I went in like a fighter in America, trying to knock her out and do more damage, but for that fight it did not work. It was a great experience. She was really nice. It went all three rounds and I was winning after the second, but in Europe with the point system, it doesn't matter if you win two rounds, it is who has the most points at the end. I talked to her after and she said she had over one hundred and seventy fights. That includes semi and full contact. In Europe they have tournaments where you get three or four fights. It was fun.
Q: Against someone with that much experience, even not winning, you can feel proud?
A: Oh of course. We were on the same level, its just that she knew the game and how to win full contact. Kicks above the waist only, wear the long pants and head gear and things.
Q: If there were more kickboxing opportunities in America, as a pro would you gravitate more towards that or MMA?
A: I think I am pretty equal in both right now. Although I see myself continuing more with MMA. But if a kickboxing fight does arise I would take it. But I do want to pursue MMA right now.
Q: You are fighting Sarah McLeod coming up. How's training been?
A: Training is good. Only thing different now is, when I first started fighting I weighed 117LBS so I didn't have to cut any weight. Now its been four years and I weigh 125LBS and am learning how to cut weight and eat better. I was always muscular, but I've gained ten pounds of muscle. So the only hard part is cutting weight, but everything is good.
Q: What do you know about Sarah?
A: From what I've seen, she has progressed really well. From the first fight to her most recent one with Nadia (Nixon) she has progressed well. I see talent in her, every fight she looks better. I saw her debut and she looked like a pure brawler and now she has technique, straight punches, clean kicks. I have respect for her. She is definitely a threat. My game is up to par and I know hers will.
Q: Do you get excited knowing you are going to be in there with someone who is willing to stand and bang with you?
A: Yeah, this is something knew. This will be my fourth MMA fight, but its different from the kickboxing. In kickboxing you cant keep going when you knock them down. In this fight there will be ground and pound, if we get knocked down, it continues. If I knock her down I am going after her, I am not letting her come back up haha. I am there to bang but I am ready for Jiu-Jitsu as well.
Q: There is a lot of interest in this fight, which isn't overly common for amateur women's MMA, what do you attribute that to?
A: I would think first thing is Sarah's popularity. She has a good following of people and has made a name for herself. She is an exciting fighter to watch and people like to see her, and she knows how to market herself, which is great. On my part, I might not have the fan base, but people know me form my kickboxing. Its two strong dedicated fighters who put on a good show.
Q: Where is your biggest advantage?
A: I would say experience. She has MMA experience but fight experience I do. I know she has done Muay Thai before to. I think I am stronger than her. She will stand there and take my hits, but I will do more damage. I'm not saying I wont get it, but I think I am stronger.
Q: Where does she pose the biggest threat?
A: I think her height maybe. She has a good six inches on me. But I fought girls who were taller, like Rebecca was 5'9", so I am used to taller fighters. So if anything, her height. Keeping me on the outside using her kicks.
Q: She has the height advantage, but you have been the shorter fighter before. Do you think the taller girls maybe under estimate you?
A: Sometimes I think so. They think I'm smaller, I'm not small because I am muscular, but they think they can use length to an advantage. I think one of my best qualities is movement and getting in and out of there.
Q: Whats the key for you to win this fight?
A: I think just going in and not letting anything distract me. I always have a game plan, its subject to change depending on what the other girls do. But if I do that I think I come out as the victor.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I think it will go all three rounds, but I think I win a unanimous decision.
Q: Have you thought about when you want to turn pro?
A: I have given it some thought. I think I want eight MMA fights, so maybe end of the year or beginning of next year. I still have some things I wanna do, five more fights and then the IKF tournament in July, I've won the last two years and wanna defend my title.
Q: MMA wise, after this, is there anyone particular you wanna fight?
A: There's a couple names I could throw out. Just fight the girls who have names and good records. I wanna be known more and challenging fights. There are a couple girls but I don't wanna put there names out there.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: I would like to thank God for giving me the dedication and strength it takes to be a fighter. My family for supporting me through all my decisions in life. My coach Bill Spicer for putting up with my "Princess" ways and being a 2nd dad. Fred Moncaio for all my MMA training and pushing me to my limits and beyond. World Champion BJJ Black Belt Sofia Amarante for taking me in and who is going to make me a better well rounded fighter.
Q: You recently were on the Taboo show on National Geographic. How happy were you with how female fighters were portrayed?
A: I thought they did a very good job. They could have spun it either way to make women look bad or crazy, but they made us look like true athletes and competitors.
Q: Has being on the show affected your career at all?
A: Any exposure is positive and I was proud to represent women's MMA, so it can put a positive light on my reputation I guess. People can see how I am behind competition.
Q: You are fighting Tecia Torres, what do you know about her?
A: I know she is very experienced in stand-up, very tough, very strong, and a good athlete. I expect a tough challenge.
Q: Does it excite you to fight someone who you know is willing to stand and bang with you?
A: I am very excited for that challenge. Its a new type of fighter I haven't experienced before. I've never had anyone who will want to stand with me. I am excited to go toe to toe with her and see who goes to plan B first.
Q: Everyone knows you are strong and into fitness, and she is obviously in great shape, is this the first time you have fought anyone who has that same strength level as you?
A: Judging from her pictures, she is probably one of the top athletes I have fought. Its hard to say, I've fought a lot of strong opponents, but from pictures she looks strong. I am not under estimating her strength, that's for sure.
Q: I also asked her this, there is a lot of interest in this fight, which isn't overly common for an amateur women's MMA fight, what do you attribute that to?
A: I think we are both very well known for our stand-up and power. When two people with the same game plan get together, it is exciting. No one expects a submission, its gonna be an exciting bomb dropping fight with punches everywhere. Its exciting when women brawl it out.
Q: With you both having power, people expect a quick fight. To me, that's under estimating the fact that you both have chins, and it can actually go longer, would you agree?
A: I definitely think it will go longer than one round, but I expect a second or third round stoppage. We are both going for the knock out, but we have good chins, so I don't believe it will be a first round knock out. I think it will be a knock out or TKO but not in the first round.
Q: Where do you have the biggest advantage?
A: I honestly think I have an advantage in all aspects. Technically she is better than me in stand-up and in Muay Thai maybe she would beat me in a decision, but this is an MMA fight and its different. I can utilize my reach and I feel I am stronger on the ground. I plan to sue my reach. She has never been hit this hard before and I have never been hit as hard as she will hit me. So its a new kind of fight for both of us.
Q: Where does she pose the biggest threat?
A: I think it would be her power in stand-up. if I make a mistake and she clips me or I keep my hands down, that's her advantage. She is good at finding those holes. So I gotta keep tight and movements. I feel confident and am sure she does to, so I am excited and expect a war.
Q: Whats the key to you winning this fight?
A: My key is use my reach and go with the flow. See where it goes. It can go anywhere. I am expecting the unexpected.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: My prediction is it ends in a TKO in the second or third round. I wont under estimate her. I am confident but it can go either way.
Q: After this fight, whats next?
A: I will be going to Ohio on June 2nd for the NAAFS.
Q: You also do the Bikini division in fitness shows, any plans coming up for that?
A: I plan to compete June 9th in an NPC qualifier in Omaha. So I can show my home town fans how I look outside the cage.
Q: Before we finish anyone you want to thank?
A: All my teammates and coaches at Mid-America Martial Arts. My personal trainer Brett Carter from Endless Possibilities, my manager Ryan Stoddard, my family for their support, my friends, my fans, and you Jason, my brother in spirit.