UFC on ESPN 11 Betting Pick: Brianna Van Buren vs Tecia Torres

Tecia Torres, what can we say? She has had a tremendous career. It’s hard to believe that the women’s mixed martial arts pioneer is only 30-years-old.

A lifetime martial artist, Tecia Torres used her time on the mat as an escape from a constantly troubled home. Ever since the age of three, Tecia has been training.

In 2011, Tecia got her first pro fight and she wasted zero time in the small regional MMA scene. She went directly to Invicta and started fighting the best girls in the world.

Paige Vanzant was her second professional fight. Next up, oh I don’t know… Former UFC Champion, Rose Namajunas.

She fought Felice Herrig soon after and signed with the UFC as an undefeated prospect. Rose would get her revenge, though, handing the Tiny Tornado the first loss of her career.

After defeating Michele Waterson in late 2017 and improving her record to 10-1, Tecia has now dropped 4 fights in a row!

It was a tough run to say the least.

  • Andrade-former UFC champ
  • Joanna-former UFC champ
  • Weili-current UFC champ

That’s a rough schedule right there. So, 4 of her 5 losses have come against the only 4 champions the UFC Women’s Strawweight division has ever known?

Her most recent defeat was too Marina Rodriguez, a much taller and longer striker with excellent takedown defense. She was a very bad matchup for the 5’1 Tecia Torres.

People are thinking Tecia is over the hill, 4 straight losses, and the young hungry bull Brianna Van Buren is going to come in here and run her over. I don’t know about that.

Let’s look at the betting odds from BetOnline.AG and make our predictions for the fight between UFC Strawweight contenders Tecia Torres and Brianna Van Buren.

Brianna Van Buren (-200) vs Tecia Torres (-170)

Round Total

OVER 2.5

I suppose we should familiarize ourselves with Brianna Van Buren.

Some of you probably already knew about Tecia but I thought I should highlight the fact that her last four losses were fights 90% of the division would have lost as well. She is still only 30-years-old and not an easy out for anybody.

Tecia has some of the best movement, particularly laterally, in the division. I’m not sure how much she will be able to use said movement as this is a smaller Octagon.

With that being said, though, I believe the small Octagon we keep talking about isn’t going to have as much of an impact in this one.

Brianna is listed at 5’ flat and even 4’11” on Google, although you can’t always trust their numbers. Tecia is 5’1” on a good day. This may be the shortest UFC fight of all-time… Well, you know what I mean.

Torres has made her money being an active striker with a diverse set of attacks. She also has been able to use her strength to nullify the length or speed of some of her past opponents.

That’s how she beat Angela Hill and Rose Namajunas in their first fight. Against a girl like Jessica Andrade, though, who has the same build but is stronger and more powerful… Things didn’t go so well.

I believe that’s what she is going up against this weekend in her fight with Brianna Van Buren. I don’t think the UFC has ever had a fighter standing at 5’ flat so this is a new animal for Tecia Torres.

Brianna is a decorated wrestler training out of AKA in San Jose with Daniel Cormier.

His first extra-short pupil Deron Winn hasn’t had the most successful run just yet but he is FAR too short for his weight class of 185 pounds at 5’6”. To me, that’s just too much to overcome.

I don’t care if you have to lose muscle mass, that isn’t going to cut it against men who are 6’3” and walking around at 215.

Brianna at 5’ means she is going to be a few inches shorter than most of her opponents, not half of a foot or more. Just like the extra-long Marina Rodriguez was a difficult matchup for Tecia Torres, I think Van Buren will be as well.

Many of the short person techniques Tecia has perfected over the years will likely be left in the toolbag this Saturday.

I think Brianna pressures Tecia hard and eventually her lateral movement will lead her butt to the cage and that’s when Van Buren will open up with strikes and then a takedown.

If Torres is able to keep this one standing, I give her the edge but I think the clinch minutes and likely top control ride time for Van Buren will be enough to sway the judges.

My Pick

In Conclusion

Don’t sleep on this fight!

I do believe that Tecia might not be getting all the respect she deserves but I also know this is yet another bad matchup for her.

Brianna Van Buren has the potential to make some serious waves in the UFC Women’s Strawweight division in the future. She is still a bit raw and that’s the only reason I’m not throwing this one home like Shawn Kemp.

On the same account

Although she is still improving and we will likely see the best version of Brianna we have ever seen before.

She dominated Liviana Souza but it was her UFC debut and fighters tend to show a jump in performance from their first fight to the next.

Get your bets in now on Brianna.

I think some people might be throwing her on a few parlays and some late value hungry bettors might juice up her betting odds even more before fight time.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.