Tecia Torres' preparation to fight Michelle Waterson at UFC 218 included some work with the fighter that Torres, Waterson, and every other strawweight in the UFC currently is targeting: champion Rose Namajunas. That won't delay Torres if a title shot against the new champion emerges, though.
"We're not like teammates or anything … it's a business," Torres told Fightful's James Lynch in an exclusive interview as she makes final preparations to face Waterson at UFC 218 this Saturday in Detroit.
Torres, who recently relocated to Colorado Springs, also worked with JJ Aldrich during her prep for Waterson, noting both Aldrich and Namajunas were in her weight class and, thus, potential future foes.
"We know at the end of the day we all want the same thing," she said. "And business is business. But outside of it, they're awesome people and it's fun to help each other grow."
Torres (9-1) told Fightful that she thinks a shot at Namajunas and the UFC title could be in the works if she can post a resounding win against Waterson. Namajunas actually has handed Torres her lone MMA defeat--a unanimous decision last year at UFC on FOX: Teixeira vs. Evans.
"I do think that an impressive win could land me a title shot but if it doesn't it's OK, I'm ready to work my way there," Torres said.
For Torres, the fight against Waterson has some additional significance. Torres noted that she has been a fan of Waterson since watching her when she was atomweight champion for Invicta.
"It's a fight that was in the works. I've been waiting a while for this fight," Torres said. "I was a fan of hers in Invicta and then she came to our weight class so now she's a rival of mine but it's awesome to fight people I really enjoy watching. ... I'm happy to fight her. I wanted the fight."
After this fight wraps up, wedding plans also might be in the works for Torres and her fiancee, Raquel Pennington. The two UFC competitors became engaged earlier this year. Fight camps delayed preparation, as did Pennington suffering a broken leg in a freak accident involving an ATV while on a family hunting trip.
In the meantime, the couple occupies themselves by binging their favorite shows and shopping.
"Right now we're watching The Good Doctor. We like Nashville. We like The Fosters. We've been watching The Voice," Torres said, adding, "Know what we really like? Shopping. We go on Ross, Marshall and TJ Maxx sprees all the time."
After submitting Juliana Lima in her last bout this summer, Torres is eyeing another stoppage against Waterson.
"I believe we will see another finish, maybe this time with the hands," Torres said.
Check out Fightful's complete exclusive interview with Tecia Torres before she fights Michelle Waterson at UFC 218.
UFC 218 takes place Saturday, December 2 from the Little Ceasers Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Fightful.com will have full, live coverage of the show, including a post-show podcast covering UFC 218, the TUF 26 Finale and Bellator 189.