Bec Hyatt debuted as the first Australian in Invicta Fighting Championships during her last bout and she made a hell of a first impression.
While the "Rowdy" Aussie was taken down repeatedly, she displayed a never-give-up attitude and continued to fight back, even knocking Esparza down in the final round and nearly finishing the fight in the last minute.
She's returning to the Invicta cage tomorrow night (April 5, 2013) when she takes on bitter rival Jasminka Cive in the opening bout of Invicta FC 5's pay-per-view main card, and she's bringing two more female Australian fighters with her.
Hyatt spoke to MMAmania.com during a guest appearrance on The Verbal Submission where she discussed improvements since her title fight, her rivalry with Jasminka Cive and her budding MMA stardom in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You had some serious moments against Carla Esparza where you hurt her in your last bout. How close do you think you were to potentially becoming a champion during some of those exchanges?
Bec Hyatt: Yeah, definitely in the last round, round five when I knocked her down and started on the ground and pound. The ref jumped in and I thought he was stopping the fight because I won because I hadn't heard the time run out in the round. I knew I just had to land one more big shot on the sweet spot and it just happened a bit too late.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Some fighters go out and make radical changes after a tough loss and just change up everything. Did you make any significant shifts in your training or preparation after your last fight?
Bec Hyatt: It's not only after a loss. I'm always looking at things to fix, even after fights I've won. I'm not going to be a perfect fighter so I'm always looking to improve and just be a better fighter every time I'm out there. Every time I fight I want people to think, "Wow, she's improved this now. That's another weapon I need to watch out for."
I definitely went back to the drawing board and tried to improve everything with my skillset. One of my big focuses was improving my stance. I was very upright in my last fight with Carla so I wanted to widen that to make it a bit more difficult to take me down so that's one thing right there.
Bec Hyatt: Yeah, that was amazing to hear she said that about me. I couldn't believe it really. It's amazing to hear the number one girl in my weight class says I'm the one to watch. It's proof that hard work pays off an I'll get there eventually.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Let's talk about your upcoming opponent Jasminka Cive. I read several of your interviews and you had some very interesting things to say about her. In one of them you mentioned she was so disliked in her native country that people were sending you inside info on how to beat her and fight tapes. Are you just trying to get in her head?
Bec Hyatt: That's the absolute truth. I'm not playing mind games. I really do have people contacting me. Someone even reached out to me last night to be honest with you giving me inside information on her. A lot of people must not like her. They're telling me she always does "this" or her one opponent was crap and just lots of little things. There have been a lot of things said and that latest Invicta video was our interview with each other and this is gonna be a good one.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I was going to bring that up, you two obviously don't like each other very much so what was it like having to sit right across from each other and do that pre-fight interview together?
Bec Hyatt: It was definitely awkward to sit so close to each other right before we're supposed to fight. It was awkward with Carla and it was definitely awkward with Jasminka. She was trying to intimidate me, give me mean looks but she doesn't know me very well. You can't scare me away with a look. You could feel the tension in the air and that's a good thing. I'll do whatever Invicta wants me to do to help promote the fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You brought up that this is the first fight where you've ever had a gameplan. How is that affecting your confidence and your preparation before heading in there?
Bec Hyatt: I've never normally stuck to a gameplan. I just usually go in there and fight and do my thing. But I feel like we've got some things prepared to do well, to humiliate her and expose her and that's what we're planning to do.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Cive criticized you because of your use of social media due to the fact that you're so active on twitter, facebook, the UG, Sherdog and other places keeping people updated. Did it bother you that she said it was a weakness?
Bec Hyatt: That's actually where all the smacktalk originated from. It was her fiance going on my facebook saying I was on facebook too much. (laughs) Then I realized it was her boyfriend and I called them out on it. They're not smart enough to market themselves and market their fights. They don't know anything about me, saying I don't have time to train. They don't know who I am. Maybe I'm updating my facebook at my gym because we have the internet. They can think what they want. I hope she thinks I haven't trained. I hope she thinks I won't be ready for the fight because once I punch her in the face, the message will be sent loud and clear.