Tecia Torres is an up-and-coming fighter in the UFC’s women’s strawweight division. Torres competed in the martial arts since the age of three, earning her black belt in taekwondo at 15 and competing in several amateur Muay Thai bouts.
But even while practicing the martial arts, she was not protected from bullying as a young child, she revealed in an Instagram post.
The 5’1" women’s strawweight fighter revealed that despite a well-built body, she was bullied when she was younger for looking too masculine. Fortunately for her, she overcame and went on to have a perfect 4-0 record in Invicta FC throughout 2012-13.
She then got the call to be a member of the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, the season that saw the introduction of the women’s strawweight division to the UFC. There, the bullying returned from her fellow cast members. And while Torres was not victorious in the season tournament, she is currently ranked No. 6 in the division rankings.
Truth be told, for as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with my body image. Thanks to my parents I am naturally gifted with a muscular petite frame. Growing up I was on the sour end of bullying, to the point were girls in my middle school class would draw a "masculine muscular" looking women on the board, in an attempt to make fun of me. It worked. I felt alone and like my body was different. Looking back I was different. My young body was a product of my hard work. I’ve been a martial artist since age 5 and I’ve always been an athlete. During these years, adult woman would always stop my mom and ask what I did. They loved my body. I never could quite grasp why they would want my figure for their own. Fast forward to a Mixed Martial Arts career in the @ufc. The bullying began again with other adult women competitors speaking up as if they had known me my entire life or were apart of my daily activity. Because I am in such phenomenal shape I must me using some type of performance enhancing drug. On The Ultimate Fighter rumor had it I was throwing up. I’ve always found these comments so hilarious. I’m confident in saying I’m one of cleanest athletes in the sport. I’m very open about my straightedge lifestyle. On the opposite side of silly adult bullying I am grateful to live in a generation where strong is being seen as beautiful and little girls are growing up knowing their bodies were made beautifully no matter what shape, size, or color it is. It took me a long time to love my body image. What motivates me even more is knowing that I’m inspiring all sorts of people to pursue their dreams and create goals. You are my motivation, so thank you for that and for following my career and life whether it’s during an up or a down. I love you. – Tecia P.S I’m going to be writing a first hand essay that will be published in @teenvogue similar to this. Look out for it in the next few months. XoKo ??: @ohrangutang ??: @cristinapilo
She went on to have a three-fight win streak before losing to Rose Namajunas via unanimous decision in April 2016. Back at a UFC Fight Night in February, she was victorious over Bec Rawlings.