In the world of sports, countless competitors have a “flash in the pan” moment and then the fame goes straight to their head, derailing a promising career.

If you’re a bettor, don’t count on that happening to Australia’s “Rowdy” Bec Hyatt.

The 24-year-old went from rising prospect to 115-pound title challenger at Invicta FC 4 in January, and after going a full five rounds with champion Carla Esparza, the fighter’s star power grew exponentially. But, as she prepares for her return at Invicta FC 5 on April 5, it’s been the same old routine for the Impact MMA product.

“People try to say that I’m famous in Australia, but I just laugh it off,” Hyatt told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “The whole experience has been amazing, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet.

Hyatt (R) connects with a left hand (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

“It doesn’t feel real. I’m doing the same thing: training, fighting.”

The performance against Esparza was unexpected for most pundits, but Hyatt never had any doubt that she’d push her fellow strawweight combatant. And given the chance to do it again, “Rowdy” feels the outcome would be different.

“After I watched the fight and got to study it, I’m quite happy with how it went,” Hyatt said of her unexpected title bout. “I saw some things I could’ve done differently, like trying to get up more instead of playing guard.

“I was preparing for Joanne Calderwood, who is a striker. I think I could take that belt with an eight-week camp to prepare. I know I have the skills, and I nearly beat her at the end.”

As Hyatt alluded to, she flurried hard in the waning moments of the fifth round against Esparza, nearly overwhelming her opponent. Although she fell short on the scorecards, the enigmatic Hyatt found a silver lining: a return trip to the Invicta cage to face undefeated Jasminka Cive.

“Originally, right after the fight, I was really disappointed because I hate losing,” she admitted. “I don’t think anyone can go into a fight and be happy to lose.

“I didn’t think they would bring me back right away. I figured I’d be back for Invicta FC 6, but for them to want me back straight away, it’s overwhelming. I’m glad they were happy with my performance. I can’t wait to put on another great performance and for them to keep bringing me back.”

Like her previously scheduled fight with Calderwood, Hyatt again finds herself preparing for a striker in the form of the Austrian Cive. However, what happens inside the cage on April 5 won’t be the same type of fight she was expecting against Calderwood.

Hyatt (Jerry Chavez/The MMA Corner)

“She’s a lot different fighter than Joanne,” explained Hyatt of Cive. “Joanne likes to sit back and be technical, whereas Jasminka comes out aggressive. I haven’t had a fight where someone has come out and pushed the pace and come forward on me. Normally, I’m walking people down. I can’t wait; it’s a nice change.”

In addition to a second appearance for the charismatic Hyatt in the Invicta cage, the promotion also signed her countrywomen Fiona Muxlow and Alex Chambers for the Kansas City event.

“I’d like to think that it influenced it a lot. I think the crowd really loves Australians,” Hyatt said with a laugh. “They welcomed me with open arms. I think [the Esparza fight] led them to want to bring more Australians over, because it’s not cheap. It’s great to see more of us get our foot in the door. I can’t wait to see them put on a show.”

But it’s not just the trio of Aussies that will be garnering attention at the event. Invicta added former Bellator champion Zoila Gurgel and former Strikeforce champion Cris “Cyborg” to compete on the card.

“It’s amazing,” declared Hyatt. “When I heard that Zoila was signed I was overwhelmed, but then when I heard Cyborg had signed I couldn’t believe it—’There’s no way she’s fighting on the same card as me. That’s just not going to happen’—I had to check the articles to make sure it was true. It’s going to do great things for all the girls on the card, because it’s more exposure.”

Even with all the attention Hyatt has received over the last three months, a win over Cive is likely to take it to another level. Just don’t expect Hyatt to get lost in the lights.

“I’m pretty laid back, so it doesn’t seem to faze me,” she proclaimed. “It won’t put me off my game on fight night.”

Bec would like to thank her coaches and training partners at Impact MMA, Integrated MMA, Gamebred MMA and Danny Galvan Wrestling Club. Her sponsors: Americana MMA, Nationally Registered Fighters Australia, Flex Nutrition, ACR Security, Protections, Promo Shack Capalaba and Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia. Follow her on Twitter: @RowdyBec, Facebook, YouTube and check out her official website.

Top Photo: Bec Hyatt (Jerry Chavez/The MMA Corner)