UFC 188: Tecia Torres & Angela Hill Slug It Out in Mexico
The first thing to remember about Tecia Torres is that her fight name of “Tiny Tornado” is well-deserved. She’s fast, relentless, and often underestimated. The second thing to remember about her is the first thing. On paper, she handily beats Hill: she’s more experienced, she’s a better striker, has better defense, trains out of a top-notch gym (ATT), and has a decent ground game.
She’s also a top undefeated strawweight who has beaten some solid fighters, including Felice Herrig (10-6), Rose Namajunas (2-2), and Paige VanZant (5-1), all better fighters than Hill. She’s small, even smaller than Alex Chambers (5-2), but she’s solid and knows how to use her size, utilizing kicks to keep her opponents at a distance, then rushing in and overwhelming them.
If Torres beats Hill, as she should, she deserves to meet the winner of the Joanna Jedrzejczyk (9-0)/Jessica Penne (12-2) title fight in Berlin next week. None of the top five strawweights are coming off a win but Penne. Will Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby give her that fight? That’s another matter.
Hill has only two professional wins, over Emily Kagan (3-2) and Stephanie Skinner (4-5). She has a great Muay Thai background, but no ground game, as her TUF bout with Carla Esparza (10-3) showed. She was neutralized as soon as Esparza took her down.
What Hill has going for her are two very heavy fists, knees so vicious they seem created by Satan, and the upper hand in fighting in the clinch. She’s a pressure fighter, very aggressive, and is taller than Torres. She is also one of the best pure athletes in the women’s divisions.
Torres should win, but if the last few months have shown us anything, it’s that this division is full of talented fighters who love to give us upsets.
Expect this fight to mainly stay standing, and expect it to be a barnburner.
Also expect it to go all three rounds, unless Hill gets in the perfect knee or strike.
Torres should keep her distance with damaging kicks before blitzing Hill and quickly retreating. She wants to stay well out of the clinch. If she can’t, she needs to take Hill to the mat, where her superior ground game will give her the chance to inflict some GNP on Hill. Torres’ speed and experience need to be in the forefront of both her offense and defense.
Hill can win if she clinches early and often, and punishes Torres with well-timed knees and hits. If Hill gets in enough punishment early enough, she can get a career-changing upset. If she doesn’t, or if Torres takes her down or is successful with her tornado blitzkriegs, Hill will drop to 2-1.
Torres by unanimous decision.
The main card starts at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT, Saturday, June 13, on PPV.
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