Prior to her short notice rematch against Ashley Yoder coming together for UFC Vegas 20, Angela Hill thought her next fight would almost certainly come against Tecia Torres.
The former Ultimate Fighter housemates were originally scheduled to fight this past December, but Hill contracted COVID-19 and the bout was scrapped. Once she was healthy again, she fully expected the matchup to be rebooked, but then she blasted Torres on social media for turning down the fight.
Torres then responded, explaining how she wasn’t interested in the rematch considering her current winning streak as well as a previous victory in 2015.
According to Hill, the UFC matchmakers did everything possible to rebook the fight again, but she said Torres wanting nothing to do with her despite previously signing to face her this past December.
“I have been waiting for a call from [UFC matchmaker] Mick [Maynard] to reschedule that fight, especially after listening to Tecia’s post fight scrum,” Hill explained when speaking to MMA Fighting during Thursday’s UFC Vegas 20 media day. “She’s like ‘I want to get right back in there, quick turnaround,’ and so I’m waiting like OK, she already signed the contract for me for December, so nothing has changed. It’s not like she fought someone who was ranked or fought someone who even had experience or fights in the UFC.
“Then I keep hearing back that she doesn’t want the fight anymore. That really bummed me out. Because it’s a redemption thing. Yoder’s probably coming in here with the same idea like it’s her chance for redemption of a loss that happened in the past, like a long time ago. So I was excited about that fight. I feel like I’ve gotten better than her in the recent years, and she kind of showed that she has no interest in fighting me.”
While Torres hasn’t offered any further details about what comes next beyond her original statement, Hill claims the UFC gave her an ultimatum to accept the fight, or potentially sit on the sidelines for several months until another opportunity arises.
“It’s not a big deal now because I have a fight, but at the time, there were no other offers on the plate,” Hill said. “It was either that or fight in June. I’m not sure when the Tecia fight would have happened, but from what I know, she basically told the matchmaker [who told her], ‘Hey you can either fight Angela or wait until October and be on the bench,’ and she said, ‘I’ll wait till October.’
“I don’t get a person like that. Fighters fight. To me, that’s a saying I’ve always felt strongly about. Fighters fight, show up, make some money, put on a show and show what you’ve been working on, but if she’s not willing to do it, I’ll move on. But I do think it’s kind of funny that she would rather sit out that long than fight me.”
In a strangely similar set of circumstances, Hill was then offered the fight against Yoder, who she previously defeated back in 2017 by unanimous decision.
On paper, Hill beating Yoder a second time probably won’t advance her very far in the strawweight division rankings, but that wasn’t really on her mind when the UFC came calling.
“I feel really confident about this fight,” Hill said. “I feel really confident again that I’ve evolved a lot faster and I have more tricks up my sleeve. But every fight’s a risk, and I think that’s the main reason Tecia doesn’t want to fight me know, because the risk is even higher now than it was before.
“Every fight’s a risk no matter how confident you feel about it. Anyone can show up and get a knockout or a submission or just be stronger or faster. It’s just a risk I’m willing to take. I’m not getting any younger.”
In her mind, Hill wants to stay active and start putting together a win streak that will eventually put her back into title contention. None of that happens if she’s just sitting and waiting.
“I definitely want to string together another streak and I do accept that I lost my last two fights but I honestly feel like I’ve performed the best that I ever have in 2020,” Hill said. “Stringing together a couple more wins will be a good start off to getting close to a title run.
“I know that’s far in the future, but I know the strawweight division, especially once you break into the top-15, that title shot is within a short grasp. I’m definitely working towards that.”