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Tracy Cortez: Story of the UFC star that you should know

LockerRoom Team
11 July 2023

Tracy Cortez, an accomplished American mixed martial artist, competes in the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Early life and hurdles

Born on December 10, 1993, in Phoenix, Arizona, Cortez comes from a Mexican immigrant background. Growing up in a household filled with Mexican culture, she has three brothers named Jose Cortez, J.R. Cortez, and Abraham Cortez. Cortez's passion for MMA ignited at the age of 14 when she witnessed her oldest brother, Jose, compete in his first MMA match against former UFC veteran Drew Fickett in November 2008. Inspired by her brother's dedication, she began training in MMA.

Sadly, Jose's dream of becoming a UFC fighter was cut short due to cardiovascular problems and a subsequent diagnosis of germ cell cancer. He tragically passed away in 2011. To honor her brother's memory, Cortez got a tattoo on her arm. Overcoming the profound sadness and depression that followed her brother's passing, she found support from her family and the best friends of her late brother, Henry Cejudo and Angel Cejudo.

Fighting in her early career

Cortez embarked on her MMA journey by competing in the World Fighting Federation and King of the Cage promotions during her amateur career, amassing an undefeated record of 3-0. Impressed by her skills, Invicta Fighting Championships signed Cortez, and she made her debut on August 31, 2017, at Invicta FC 25: Kunitskaya vs. Pa'aluhi against Cheri Muraski. Despite her best efforts, Cortez suffered a submission loss in the second round. Undeterred, she returned to the World Fighting Federation in November 2017 and secured a victory via a unanimous decision against Roxanne Ceasear.

Success in Invicta Fighting Championship

On March 24, 2018, Cortez faced Kaytlin Neil at Invicta FC 28: Mizuki vs. Jandiroba, winning the bout via unanimous decision. Throughout 2018, she continued her winning streak with victories against Monica Median and Karen Cedillo at V3 Fight Night 69 and Combate Americas: Alday vs. Lopez, respectively.

Eager to prove herself on a larger stage, Cortez fought Erin Blanchfield on February 15, 2019, at Invicta FC 34: Porto vs. Gonzalez. The bout went the distance, and Cortez emerged victorious with a split decision win. Her impressive performance caught the attention of the UFC, and she was subsequently signed by the organization.

Debut in the UFC

In her highly anticipated UFC debut, Cortez was set to face Duda Santana in a bantamweight bout on November 16, 2019, at UFC on ESPN+ 22. However, Santana withdrew from the fight due to family issues, and Cortez faced Vanessa Melo as a replacement. Both fighters missed weight initially, but a scale error led to their official clearance, and the bout proceeded at bantamweight. Cortez secured a unanimous decision win in an exciting matchup.

Cortez's next scheduled bout was against Bea Malecki on October 11, 2020, at UFC Fight Night 179. However, Malecki was replaced by Stephanie Egger for undisclosed reasons. Cortez showcased her skills once again, earning another unanimous decision victory.

Continuing her UFC journey, Cortez faced Justine Kish on April 17, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 22. Although she missed weight by half a pound, the bout proceeded at catchweight, and Cortez prevailed with a split decision win.

Unfortunately, a scheduled bout against JJ Aldrich on August 28, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 30 was cancelled due to Cortez's injury. Vanessa Demopoulos stepped in as a replacement for the event.

Cortez returned to action on May 7, 2022, at UFC 274, facing Melissa Gatto. Displaying her skills and determination, she secured a unanimous decision win.

While scheduled to face Amanda Ribas on December 3, 2022, at UFC on ESPN 42, Cortez was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed medical issue, resulting in the cancellation of the bout.

What are your thoughts on the career of Tracy Cortez so far? Let us know in the comments below.


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