Sunday, March 17, 2013
Bec "Rowdy" Hyatt: Happy to be the Hero, Villain, or Underdog
Having started training only three short years ago, originally in kickboxing as a means to lose weight, Hyatt is already 4-2 in her professional MMA career with over 28,000 followers on her Facebook page. The rise in attention came immediately after her first fight despite having lost via knock out. She good naturedly recounted how she gained more internet popularity after that fight than the winner did, "which has always made for a good giggle among friends." Hyatt said. After signing her fight contract this past November with Invicta Fighting Championships, her fan base has quickly spread worldwide. "I'm addicted to this sport, have dedicated the past three years of my life to it, and I want it to define me as a person, so it was only natural to aim to climb the highest mountain." Hyatt said in response to what fighting for Invicta has meant for her career. "Despite the loss, I feel I have gained a lot from the experience, both from a fighting and exposure point of view, and now that I actually know what its like to go five championship rounds only six fights into my career, make no mistake that I will be steamrolling towards my goal of earning another title shot. I'm hungrier than ever and can't wait for my next title fight."
I started following Hyatt during the lead up to her fight on Invicta 4. I was absolutely fascinated by her already large and ever-growing fan base, and being a fighter myself, had to know her secret. However, my ulterior motive quickly turned to simply another genuine fan as her perky and often hilarious posts began making their way onto my daily newsfeed on Facebook. When I asked her for the interview, she was quick to respond and despite the hundreds of requests she's received, she was very appreciative of the request. And in that lies part of her charm. "I respond to over 100 messages daily for example, and have no problem doing so, as without my supporters, I wouldn't be where I am today!" she said as we discussed the way she interacts with all of her fans, something you simply don't see a lot of as fighters begin to gain more fame. The fact that she can relate to so many different walks of life makes her very approachable as well. Always smiling, attractive, a mother of two, formerly overweight, and decked out in both tattoos and piercings, there aren't many who can't relate to some part of her personality.
Her willingness to use her notoriety to participate and help out charity organizations and causes, makes her no less lovable Her sports bra raised the fourth highest amount of money in the recent MZ & Emmers Sports Bra Auction event that many female fighters gathered together to help raise over $5300 to help benefit breast cancer awareness. "All an event organizer needs to do is shoot me a message across any of my social networks", Hyatt said in response to whether or not she plans to participate in more charity events.
I hadn't heard of Hyatt prior to Invicta 4, so I asked her how Invicta had found her. "It's hard NOT to find me, and I work hard to make sure it's that way! MMA isn't just about training and fighting, and anyone that ignores the promotional and marketing side of the sport will always miss out on opportunities." This led me to finally asking how she does it. At the young age of 23, this fun-loving Aussie has the art of self-promotion figured out. How does she get so much attention so early in her career from fans, sponsors, promoters, and media alike? "I knock on doors, and if nobody answers, I kick them down! Self-promotion is key to being successful in this sport, and unless YOU are willing to make people care about who you are, when you're fighting, and where you want to go, can you really expect anyone else to care? Attention is everything. It's opportunity and money, and nothing brings attention like hype or controversy. I have no problem firing up the hype train leading into my fights, calling out a fighter, or saying something that will catch headlines because as long as people are talking about me, the promoters, fans and sponsors will care. I believe in my own abilities and I don't need anyone else to, so I'm happy to be the hero, villain, or underdog. At the end of the day, as long as people tune in to watch me fight, whether it's to see me with my hand raised or to see me laying unconscious on the canvas once again, the fact that people are tuning in is all that matters to me. MMA is sports entertainment, and promoters more often than not care more about your ability to promote and sell tickets than your ability to fight, so if you think that when you sign a fight contract that your only job is to train and fight, good luck trying to draw attention, future opportunities and a fan base for yourself!"
And Hyatt meant it when she said she has no problem firing up the hype train. Watching the comments fly as she leads up to her next 115 lb fight against 5-0 Jasminka Cive, has been nothing less than entertaining and attention drawing. Having already dubbed her opponent "The Sphincter" in recent news, she plans to prove something to Cive's fiance who has reportedly been doing his own amount of trash talking leading up to this fight. "I'm very much looking forward to punching a hole in her face for him." Hyatt said as we finished up our interview earlier tonight. And her 28,000 fans and supporters are looking forward to seeing what she does next inside that cage on Invicta 5 coming up in less than three short weeks on April 5th!
As Hyatt repeatedly pointed out in our conversations together, she wouldn't be where she's at today without all of her fans and supporters. "Thanks must go out to my awesome gym Impact MMA in Capalaba, for all the work they've put into me, along with Integrated MMA in Stafford and Danny Galvan on the Gold Coast. Thank you to my fantastic new sponsor Americana MMA for jumping on board to support me!"
Whether you love her or hate her, Bec "Rowdy" Hyatt "aims to entertain"! For the most "Rowdy news" follow her more active account on Twitter @RowdyBec, or if you're a Facebook junkie like myself, you can find her at www.Facebook.com/RowdyBec. Find out what she'll say next, its sure to bring a laugh!