Jomary Torres did not want her grandmother, who raised her, to work just to get her through college so she decided to stop going to school. Out of desperation, she did not hesitate to take a job in Taguig, Metro Manila, where she worked as a nanny.
During her time as a nanny, Torres met Ruel Catalan, who frequently trained at a gym near the school where the child that she took care of was studying. While waiting for the child to finish school, she swung by the gym to watch the action firsthand.
For three years, the usually-active Torres was contained in a job where she could not feed her competitive spirit and could only envy them from the sidelines. Watching people get fit, all while satisfying that craving for competition through martial arts enticed her.
In 2015, Ruel introduced Torres to his older brother, Rene Catalan, a ONE Championship fighter, a multiple-time Wushu world champion and the head coach of Catalan Fighting System. Torres recalled, “Coach Rene invited me and gave me an offer to consider.”
“I tried training, and I have been there ever since,” Torres continued. “I was a bit fat before. I only got fit here.”
After receiving an offer to join the team, Torres did not think twice to leave her job as a nanny and trained to become a full-time martial artist. With no martial arts background, it came as a shock for her when she was immediately booked for a match.
As homage to her hometown, Torres took the nickname The Zamboanginian Fighter as her alias when she had her professional debut in August 2016 at a local show. She pulled off the unanimous decision victory, and from then on, the Catalans knew that they had a potential star on their hands.
“I trained for two months, and was surprised when I was told by my coach that I would be competing,” Torres stated. “I took on the challenge so that I could experience a real match, and thankfully, I won.”
On January 26, 2018, Torres will face her fellow Filipina fighter April Osenio in an atomweight bout in the preliminary card of “ONE: Global Superheroes” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Meanwhile, watch a clip featuring Torres and Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige here: