Invicta FC 6 marks the all-female promotion’s first trek into the world of televised pay-per-view, and “Rowdy” Bec Hyatt is “absolutely psyched” that her fight against Mizuki Inoue will be part of that card on Saturday night in Kansas City, Mo.
“I knew it was coming and I kept going, ‘Please don’t be the show that they rest me on. I want to be on the first pay-per-view show.’ It happened and I was overwhelmed,” admitted Hyatt.
She will now be fighting—what her two young sons affectionately call “punchy punch”—in front of a lot more viewers and will be able to expand her growing fanbase.
“I think it’s amazing. Yes, the more eyes, the better for us girls,” she said. “The more exposure we get the better. Invicta just keeps surprising us with really good things, and they just keep getting better and better each time, so yeah, it’s really cool.”
Hyatt was part of another first for Invicta when she fought Carla Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title at Invicta FC 4—her first fight with the promotion and inside the States.
Most fighters don’t fight for a title in their debut, especially on eight-day notice, but an injury to Claudia Gadhela afforded Hyatt the opportunity to grow up quickly in her young fighting career.
The 24-year-old Australian didn’t win that title fight vs. Esparza at Invicta FC 4, but she went the distance, gained immeasurable experience and proved she could fight among the best in her weight class.
“I think I grew immensely after the fight with Carla,” Hyatt told Bleacher Report recently. “I really got to test where I’m at. The competition in Australia isn’t exactly thriving. I don’t have the best opponents from Australia, so to come over to America, and test myself against one of the best in the world was really thrilling. To go five rounds, it definitely showed me where I’m at, what I need to work on. I definitely took a lot of confidence out of that fight, even though I lost.”
Hyatt has grown tremendously in popularity since that title fight. She is known for being a fixture on all social media platforms and for her fun-loving and bubbly personality.
Some of her peers—like her last opponent, Jasminka Cive—often knock her constant presence on Twitter and Facebook. They claim she spends more time there then she does at the gym.
The Brisbane native proved otherwise at Invicta FC 5, knocking Cive from pillar to post before submitting her via armbar in the first round.
“She obviously thought because of the way I use social media and all my interviews and things…She obviously thought I had no time for training,” Hyatt said.
“She absolutely underestimated me. Let it be a lesson, that’s the deal. To this day, people still assume I don’t train and I’m on Facebook all day. No one will ever learn.”
Hyatt has gotten more familiar with the travel and schedule heading into her third fight with Invicta. With two trips from Australia to America under her belt, she knows what to expect and how to prepare for jet lag and her final stages of cutting weight.
This time around, she hasn’t had to deal with any of the back-and-forth trash talk, saying Inoue has been “quite respectful,” unlike her last opponent, Cive.
“She is from Japan,” explained Hyatt. “They are very respectful and humble. I don’t normally say anything disrespectful unless someone attacks me.”
The outspoken Aussie definitely finds it a bit shocking that Inoue is only 18 years old and had her first professional fight in Japan two years ago.
“I think it’s crazy; I honestly do,” Hyatt confessed. “To train and fight at the age of 16 is absolutely amazing.”
“I think it’s a huge advantage,” Hyatt continued. “I keep saying I would hate to fight myself when I was 18 years old. You’ve got no fear. You are coming in and you have everything to prove, because everyone thinks you are just a kid. I think she’s very dangerous because of that fact.”
Inoue has cut her teeth in Japan’s Jewels promotion, and despite her age and having one fewer professional fight on her record, she owns the edge in the experience department.
“I’m six years older than her, but she’s actually been training and fighting longer than me,” Hyatt said.
“I’m really new to this sport,” she confessed. “I guess I’ve really been fighting for two years and training for three and I actually had my son in between that so I haven’t been involved in the sport for very long. So she also has that advantage, even though she’s very young.”
Hyatt explained that once the cage door locks, she will only be focused on the fight.
“At the end of the day, when I’m standing across the cage from her, I know she is trying to rip my head off,” Hyatt said. "So, her age isn’t going to stop me from wanting to rip her head off. That isn’t going to enter my mind whatsoever.”
Should the blue-haired strawweight prove successful Saturday night, she will continue to move closer to another shot at Esparza’s title, where she thinks things could be different the second time.
“I know what to expect from Carla,” Hyatt said. “I know what she doesn’t like and what she does like, and I think it would be a lot different with an eight-week fight camp instead of eight days.”
First she must get past Inoue, earn her second win for Invicta and continue to improve in her young MMA career.
“That’s my main goal is to come back a bigger and better version of me every time I fight. I feel like I’m going to do that on Saturday night.”
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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