“Rowdy” Bec Hyatt is a star in the making. Her flashy in-ring style, her willingness to throw down and her keen sense for marketing herself have forged a female fighter with the potential to become a hot commodity in the Straw-weight division. After starting her career off with a devastating head-kick loss, Hyatt has rebounded with four consecutive wins with three finishes over a span of eight months. With only five fights to her name, Bec’s journey to Invicta FC has been short and sweet, and she is well aware of the demanding tasks ahead of her.

Whilst Australian fans flock to events to show support for the likes of Hector Lombard, James Te Huna and George Sotiropoulos, Bec Hyatt will be the first female fighter that Australian MMA fans will get an opportunity to support. Her recent signing with all-female organization Invicta FC means Bec will finally get to show off her abilities on North American soil, where she will undoubtably get the most attention.

“I literally broke down into tears when my manager told me of the offer,” Bec told The Flying Knee MMA‘s Karim Zidan, “Fighting for the pinnacle of WMMA less than three years into my journey is amazing and to be the first ever Australian fighter to be signed is a huge honor that I don’t take lightly. I hope to open many more doors for Australian fighters on the world stage.”

The 23 year old is expected to be a part of the Invicta FC 4 show, which, although it has not been officially announced, is expected to take place in January 2013.

“I’m fighting undefeated Scottish fighter Joanne Calderwood,” she said when asked about the upcoming event, “I couldn’t have accepted this match up any quicker as I love her style inside and outside of the cage and I knew straight away that I would be the underdog in this fight, which I’m loving because I’ve never been the underdog. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so the limited pressure during this training camp at the moment is a good change!”

Calderwood made her Invica debut back in October, TKOing previously undefeated Ashley Cummins with a vicious knee to the mid-section, which earned her the ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonus. Hyatt is well aware of how dangerous her opponent is and believes a win over her would be a significant achievement. She added: “Joanne has said that I need to prove I’m at Invicta’s level, and I couldn’t agree more. I was really happy that she said that because beating her will be a bigger statement than my words could ever be and I cannot wait to mix it up with her in January. Invicta is where I want to be  and  is where I’m planning on staying for a long time. I love this sport and am blessed to be a part of it as this point in its history.”

For Bec, signing with Invicta is only the tip of the iceberg. Now it is about proving that you belong on the international stage and constantly improving your game. “My main goal of making it to North America has been achieved, so now I’m just looking forward to continually development my skills sets so that I can provide the ridiculously stylish violence that my supporters come to expect from me on an international stage.”

Hyatt also touched on current WMMA star Ronda Rousey, admitting that she has played a significant role in the progression of WMMA.

“Rousey has been great for WMMA and its awesome sauce that she is the first ever WMMA fighter in the UFC,” she said, “She certainly isn’t the only reason for WMMA’s growth though, as there were a lot of female’s before her busting their asses and still are.”

If you ask Bec, it’s all in the marketing and how you get yourself noticed.

“She [Rousey] knows how to market herself,” Bec explained,  “She has the image and the skills…the total package really. I’m a firm believer that it isn’t all about how good you can fight and a lot of it is to do with how you market, and as it so happens, Rousey can market like no other.”

Although it seems that Bec is well on her way to gaining the recognition she deserves, it wasn’t always this easy. In a male-dominated sport, opportunities dp not come by often for female fighters. Bec had to prove her worth not only to promoters and fans, but to sponsors as well.

“I used to suffer from a lot of obstacles but now it’s getting easier and easier for me. Lack of sponsorship opportunities and interest from promoters were no. 1 and no. 2, but I think the most important thing is how you market yourself in prize fighting. Before I started to market myself and began kicking doors in nobody gave a damn and why would they?”

So how do female fighters stand out? According to Bec, it is all in how you market yourself both in and out of the cage:

“In the short-term, female fighters are always going to be given lesser opportunities than male fighters, so we have to make sure people take notice and actually care. Supporters or haters, both are great to have as both will tune in to watch you win, or loss and promoters more often than not do care about how many bums you put in seats over your ability anyway.”

At the end of the day, Hyatt believes it is onwards and upwards for WMMA. If you ask her where Women’s MMA will be in five years, she will say: “Hopefully where the UFC was 4-5 years ago, booming and unstoppable.”

Follow Karim Zidan (@TheFlyingKneeTO) for all the latest MMA news and updates.

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