Filipina martial arts star Jomary Torres may be undefeated, but she knows the tests only get tougher from here.
The 22-year-old atomweight, known as “The Zamboanginian Fighter” faces Indonesia’s Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES at the Jakarta Convention Center on 22 September.
It is the sternest test of her career in ONE Championship to date, and she admits she has had sleepless nights thinking about the upcoming bout.
“I’m always thinking about winning,” she says.
“Sometimes, I can’t sleep late at night because I get nervous thinking about the next match. Every time a match draws near, this is my constant feeling.”
Torres’ career to date has been plain sailing, with all four bouts producing victories.
She defeated future ONE Championship athlete Krisna Limbaga on a local show in the Philippines in her professional debut, then joined ONE and submitted previously undefeated Thai starlet Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige in a thrilling match.
Her follow-up decision win over Nita Dea only served to prove that Torres wasn’t a flash in the pan, and that she was a legitimate threat in ONE’s atomweight division.
But it was her most recent display that made the martial arts world sit up and take notice, as she delivered the most impressive performance of her career to defeat fellow Filipina April Osenio by knockout with a huge slam.
It was a highlight-reel knockout and one that came in just 40 seconds, setting the record for the fastest stoppage win in ONE Championship women’s history at the time.
“I really didn’t expect to do that against April. It wasn’t in the game plan. It just happened,” she admits.
“I knew there were a lot of people who prayed for me to get that win. Even my grandmother had sleepless nights as fight night drew near.”
Torres has been training under the tutelage of head coach and ONE Strawweight Title contender Rene Catalan at Catalan Fighting Systems in Makati, Philippines, where she has always adopted an “always-ready” approach to her career.
If an opportunity becomes available, “The Zamboanginian Fighter” intends to be ready to answer the call.
“If there is a match suddenly available, I need to be ready,” she explains.
“I don’t want to be caught off guard and not be in top condition when I get a surprise call, so I’m always ready. Good thing I get to train with my coaches.”
Torres’ upcoming bout with Lumban Gaol will see her take on a seasoned operator, an SEA Game wushu medallist whose game has shown noticeable improvements with each performance she makes inside the ONE Championship cage.
While she respects the Indonesian’s skills, Torres says she believes she has the edge on the ground.
“I think she has many weapons, so I’m not sure which one I should be most careful of,” the CFS product explains.
“Personally, I think she isn’t the best at grappling and wrestling. In her last match, I saw the Malaysian go for takedown after takedown. Maybe I’ll do the same, and turn this into a grappling match.”
Victory over Lumban Gaol in Indonesia would hand “Thathie” her first loss on home soil and advance Torres’ claims for bigger bouts at the top of the atomweight division.
The ultimate aim, of course, is the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title, but Torres is not going to rush her journey.
Instead, she says she wants to show steady improvement and work her way up so that when she does challenge for the belt, she will be ready.
“There’s still a lot more steps to climb before I get that World Title opportunity,” she explains.
“Right now, I’d rather enjoy my spot climbing the ranks than competing for a World Title right away. I think I will reach that at the right time.”