An old English proverb states that “One man’s loss is another man’s gain.” Whilst she may not be a man, ‘Rowdy’ Bec Hyatt is certainly living proof of that proverb. The Australian fan favourite, who was set to make her North American debut on the main card of Invicta FC 4, has been thrust into the spotlight after a training injury forced Claudia Gadelha out of her main event title fight with Carla Esparza. Although her twist of fate was a sudden one, Hyatt is ready to embrace her opportunity with open arms.
“I’m really, really excited,” Hyatt explained to Karim Zidan of TheFlyingKneeMMA.com when asked about her emotions heading into her title fight, “A lot of people have been asking me how nervous I am but that isn’t the right word. I’m both excited & anxious for this challenge & can’t wait to face it head on. This is one of those rare, like a diamond in the rough, where you just have to snatch at it with both hands & run, because you never know if you’ll ever get it again!”
Although Bec was not the first option for the promotion when it came down to selecting a replacement for the strawweight title fight but she was certainly the only fighter willing to step up on short notice out of the entire bunch.
“It was actually about 5am Australian time when I woke up to a message saying that there had been a change of opponent for me,” she detailed, “Before the email detailing the change could load, I had seen on Facebook that Carla Esperza’s opponent was out with an injury & I straight away thought Joanne had stepped up & I was without a fight. As I opened the email, my heart was going a million miles an hour & it turned out that Joanne had been asked to fight Esperza, but turned it down, as did 6 others & that I was being offered the fight. I couldn’t say yes quick enough to say the least!”
With a legitimate confidence in her abilities and a fanbase that most female fighters can only dream of, Hyatt expected to be in this position one day–she just never believed it would be this soon.
“It’s still a bit surreal but at the same time I expected to be at this point some day, so it’s just a bit sooner than I thought or would have liked,” she said, “I believe in my abilities, am very confident and have a giant chip on my shoulder, so saying that I can’t do something motivates me even more! The fact that Invicta has been looking after me so well also factored in, as more or less it was me or the headline fight would be canceled. They certainly didn’t pressure me and it wouldn’t have been needed anyway because I’m keen as mustard to mix it up with Carla.”
With less than 10 days to prepare for her new opponent, who happens to be a tough wrestler with KO power and a great submission game, Hyatt knows that the odds are stacked against her and that she will need to focus on her own strengths instead of those of her opponent.
“The only thing that changes is the body. My trainers and I always study my opponents fights to an extent but at the end of the day I go out there to do what I want to do. Even though Carla is known as a wrestler, she isn’t afraid at all to strike & I very much hope that she thinks she can stand with me! I think it would make a very exciting fight but at the same time this is MMA & wherever it goes, it goes & I’m prepared for it. She is a fantastic wrestler & I’m sure she can take me down whenever she wants, so we’ll just see how it pans out. I have nothing to lose in this fight, everything to gain & I’m ready to shock the world.”
Having gone from simply a debuting fighter to a strawweight title challenger in the less than 24 hours, Hyatt will be looking to prove to Invicta and all the naysayers that she deserves the opportunity placed in front of her.
“If anyone thinks I flown half way across the world to give her an easy night they obviously don’t know me yet.”
Follow Karim Zidan (@TheFlyingKneeTO) for all the latest MMA news and updates.