From the Field to the Octagon

Author: Omar Dedovic

Last Updated:

Category: Featured

In the world of sports, few journeys are as remarkable as Torrez Finney’s (’20) transformation from a college football player to a professional mixed martial arts fighter.

When he first walked onto the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus, he had dreams of becoming a standout football player. Little did he know that his journey at UTC would lead him to a different arena entirely – the world of MMA.

As a student-athlete, he dedicated himself to representing the Mocs on the football field from 2016 – 2020 and, briefly, on the wrestling mat from 2017 – 2018. Alongside his athletic commitments, he pursued a Sports Administration and Communications degree and actively participated in the Student Government Association (SGA).

His college years at UTC were a whirlwind of experiences, but the best was yet to come. Finney’s involvement in athletics and academics set the stage for a remarkable transition that would lead him down an unexpected and rewarding path.

2020 brought an unforeseen twist that would forever impact Finney’s life. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the world, and college sports were no exception. For Finney, this meant a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his senior year of college football. “When Covid-19 hit in 2020, it halted some of my confidence in continuing to play football.” Torrez said, “I had just got done recovering from an injury, and then to be told you don’t know if I was gonna have a football season my senior year was a bit disheartening.”

Torrez Finney (left) with fellow SGA members.

However, amidst the turmoil, a spark ignited. Finney ventured into the world of boxing and discovered an undeniable passion for combat sports. His journey from the football field to a boxing gym was unconventional, but it ultimately led him to the doors of Agoge Combatives, where he would first experience the world of MMA.

“I found some passion in boxing that same year, and then some friends at the boxing gym invited me to train at Agoge Combatives to train MMA. The day I walked into that gym, I knew that this was what I wanted to do for my career. I had been wrestling ever since I was in 7th grade. I was originally recruited by UTC to wrestle but chose the football route instead.”

UTC was more than just a university for Torrez Finney; it was the crucible in which he forged his character and resilience. His UTC journey took a remarkable turn when he tore both of his ACLs, presenting him with the kind of adversity that would shape his fighting spirit.

Through hard-fought recoveries and determined comebacks, Finney learned the importance of unwavering dedication and resilience, lessons that would serve him well in the demanding world of MMA.

Today, Torrez Finney is a professional MMA fighter with an impressive record of 6-0. He is signed with First Round Management, and his sights are set on the Dana White Contender Series, where he hopes to secure a UFC contract. His long-term goal? To become a world champion and one of the best fighters in the world.

For aspiring student-athletes considering a similar transition or aspiring to pursue MMA, Torrez Finney offers sage advice: “Be 100% fully committed to what you do. Don’t straddle the fence when it comes to your ambitions. Fight hard every day and get it done.”