Out of the three Filipino fighters who competed at ONE Championship: Kings and Conquerors, little was known about 21-year-old Jomary Torres.
Her compatriots Eric Kelly and Joshua Pacio boasted impressive resumes, while Torres had had only one professional fight under her belt prior to her atomweight bout against highly-favored Thai fighter Rika Ishige. Moreover, she was still not used to the spotlight brought about by the pageantry of a pre-fight buildup, shying away from the members of the press.
But she more than made up for it come fight night, letting her fists do the talking like there was no tomorrow, to make a good impression.
“Naisip ko din na sigaw nila coach ‘yan wag mo ipakuha kamay mo, and di niya natuloy, dun ko na experience ko sa isip ko na andun sila na pinupush ako,” the Zamboanga-native said.
“Bukas wala na yan.”
With a quaint Filipino crowd cheering her on at the Cotai Arena, Torres was able to overcome both the odds and the pressure, submitting Ishige in the second round to complete her impressive ONE debut.
“Nung nasa loob na ako ng cage tapos sumisigaw sila andun na lakas ko, andyan sila para suportahan ako,” Torres recalled.
“Kaya pinush ko sarili ko na makakaya ko ito, nandiyan silang lahat.”
Still, after picking up her biggest win so far, Torres immediately returned to her quiet persona during the post-fight scrum as she continues to figure out the ins and outs of the fight game.
“Kasi dito, iba, puro may sinasabi, kung sa laban kasi, puro bakbakan.” quipped the standout from Catalan Fighting System.
“Iba kasi sa cage, nandun yung suporta ng mga tao. Dito naman, medyo mahina ako dito.”
But she still has plernty of years ahead to figure this out.