A packed summer of 2021 continues this Saturday night for the UFC as Houston’s Toyota Center plays host to UFC 265 on ESPN+ pay-per-view (inside the United States, preorder today, check local listings for availability elsewhere).
This Texas-sized MMA card will feature 13 bouts in Houston (barring any last-minute postponements for any reason), including this strawweight confrontation between #10 Tecia Torres (11-5) and #12 Angela Hill (13-9).
As with most nontitle fights, this contest at 115 lbs. during UFC 265 on Saturday night will be a maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.
UFC 265 Fighter Comparison
Heading into this strawweight confrontation at UFC 265 on Saturday night, “Overkill” Hill is the taller fighter, standing 5-foot-3, with “Tiny Tornado” Torres standing 5-foot-1.
In addition, Hill owns a four-inch reach advantage (64 1/2 inches to 60 1/2 inches), as well as a three and a half-inch leg reach advantage (38 1/2 inches to 35 inches even) over Torres going into UFC 265 from the Toyota Center.
Torres Rides Momentum of Recent TKO Win Into UFC 265
The “Tiny Tornado” has posted a 2-3 record in her last five UFC appearances, including an ongoing two-fight winning streak.
Back in December, Torres scored a first-round TKO victory (doctor’s stoppage due to an eye injury) against Sam Hughes during UFC 256’s undercard from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Hughes was a late replacement for Angela Hill against Torres that December night after Hill withdrew from UFC 256 upon returning a positive COVID-19 test prior to the event.
In her post-fight interview with the media, Torres summed up the victory thusly:
“I’m really excited. I really did want to go a second and third round to get some ring time in, so I was surprised when it was over, but looking at her (Hughes), her eye was full of blood and she said she couldn’t see out of it, so I understand why they stopped it. But I would have liked to go another one or two rounds.”
During that same interview, Torres expressed her wishes to battle a top-10 opponent, saying:
“I asked for the top-10 for my last two fights and unfortunately didn’t get that, so I think that’s the best thing for me.”
Trailblazing Hill Returns For UFC 265 This Weekend
In the other corner, “Overkill” has gone 3-2 in her last five UFC appearances, snapping a two-fight losing streak in her most recent bout (unanimous decision) against Ashley Yoder at UFC Vegas 20 back in March — but more importantly, Hill became a trailblazer last year.
On the Sept. 12, 2020, UFC Vegas 10 card, she became the first African-American woman to headline a show for the world’s top MMA promotion, fighting to a split decision loss at the hands of Michelle Waterson after 25 minutes of action.
During an interview with ESPN, Hill talked about her uphill battle, explaining:
“I’ve faced a lot of scrutiny, just coming in with very little experience. A lot of people like to say that I was there because I was Black, I was there because I was filling a quota, when in reality, when I went to the tryouts and Dana White saw me striking, he said ‘This is the best display of striking I’ve ever seen in all my years of doing TUF (The Ultimate Fighter.) So, it was a merit-based decision, and it really hurt me when people just assumed that I was there to fill a quota.”
Analysis, Film Study and Prediction
Stylistically, this strawweight encounter at UFC 265 on Saturday night looks to be a toss-up as both fighters like to keep the contest on their feet, with Torres holding black belts in karate and taekwondo and Hill subscribing to kickboxing.
Look for the Fluidity of Tecia Torres’ Movement
Nowhere is the fluidity of Torres’ movement more evident on tape than in her most recent fight back in December against Hughes.
In that fight, she was able to mix up her strikes and kept Hughes guessing, unloading on her with a combo of punches before the fight transitioned to the clinch.
Even though that fight ended due to an eye injury, Torres was wearing Hughes down as it was, and had that fight continued, Torres would have only worn Hughes down even further.
Torres was simply too, too fast for Hughes to keep up with her last December and was headed for a natural knockout had that fight continued beyond the opening round. At one point during that first round, Torres was outpacing Hughes in significant strikes by a 35-10 clip.
The question here is “Can Angela Hill keep up with Tecia Torres here in UFC 265 on Saturday night?”
Hill Can Go the Distance if Need Be
The only thing that could possibly be Torres’ downfall at UFC 265 is if the fight goes the distance, something that Hill did in The Ultimate Fighter live finale in 2017 against Ashley Yoder.
Throughout those three rounds, Hill withstood a Yoder takedown to quickly spring back up to the feet, mixing up her movement to keep Yoder guessing.
Yoder dumped Hill with a takedown at the beginning of round two, before advancing to half-guard, accumulating some ride time from top position, slowing down the momentum for Hill, who eventually took top position herself, canceling out a submission attempt in the process, electing to stand up afterward, peppering Yoder with strikes and stealing the round in the process.
Hill had to stuff a Yoder takedown in round three before taking top position on the back mount herself, finally going to the clinch and standing back up again.
Later in the final round, Hill dumped Yoder with a takedown of her own, with Yoder attempting an armbar submission hold before finally returning to the feet to end the fight, won by Hill (unanimous decision.)
If “Overkill” is able to keep her cardio at a high level, as she did with Yoder four years ago, she can gut out a victory after three rounds on Saturday night.
Ultimately, this strawweight confrontation at UFC 265 on Saturday night is going to be predicated on the fighters’ cardio.
Think of it like a fighting video game, such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, in that whichever fighter’s “energy bar” drains less is going to be the fighter who wins this battle at UFC 265.
Prediction: Angela Hill by Unanimous Decision.