When the cast of The Ultimate Fighter season 20 was revealed, Tecia Torres stood out as one of the favorites. During the seeding process, after the coach evaluations, Torres was ranked the No. 3 fighter on the show.
Torres was the first pick for Team Melendez and took on Randa Markos in the first fight of the season. She lost by unanimous decision after three rounds of fighting.
When her teammate Justine Kish was forced out of the competition with a knee injury, Torres was chosen to return to the tournament. But “The Tiny Tornado” would have to jump from Team Melendez to Team Pettis. The team switch, and being brought back after losing, put Torres in a difficult situation on the reality series.
“Tecia, I can tell is a little disappointed because she was going to be the black sheep of the show,” said Team Pettis coach Anthony Pettis. “She’s in a weird position. She has to trust us. She has a second chance at this. She knows that, and she has a team full of ladies that don’t want her there. It’s a weird position.”
Torres being brought back into the competition didn’t sit well with many of the fighters, but especially with her new Team Pettis teammates.
“Do I think Tecia deserves a second chance? No. I don’t think Tecia deserves to be back. She lost fair and square,” said top ranked Carla Esparza. “I came here to fight whoever. So if they put the no. 3 seed back into my bracket, it’s not that cool. It’s not fair, but whatever.”
Team Pettis’ Randa Markos echoed Exparza’s opinion. “She lost fair and square,” she said.
“Team Pettis was not very happy about Tecia being on our team. We just think it’s kind of not fair to a lot of the other girls because Tecia lost,” said Felice Herrig.
Top seeded Esparza went as far as saying she will not train with Torres.
“I personally don’t’ really want to get to know Tecia. She’s my potential next opponent. I’m not going to train with her,” said Esparza. “If we’re going to fight each other, or spar, or whatever, it’s going to be in the cage when it’s time to fight.”
The 25-year-old Torres knows where she stands with Team Pettis. The expressions on the Team Pettis members when UFC president Dana White made the announcement said it all.
“I bonded with Team Melendez, so it’s kind of weird. When he [Dana White] announced that I was stepping back in the competition and being part of Team Pettis, I saw the other girls’ faces. They had quite the surprise on their face.”