Bellator Dublin: Bec Rawlings is back in the win column.
Bec Rawlings stepped out to the Irish crowd for the first time as a performer when she stood across the cage from Elina ‘Gunnar’ Kallionidou. Both fighters opened the bout with some decent exchanges but quickly found themselves in a grappling contest. Rawlings appeared to get the better of those while transitioning into submissions to keep ‘Gunnar’ guessing. As the round came to a close, Rawlings appeared to be tired even though most would suggest she had won the first round.
Kallionidou started strong in the second round and found a lot of success on the feet as Rawlings looked fairly fatigued but ‘Rowdy’ dug deep and landed herself a takedown. An interesting contest between both flyweights who needed something significant to happen to take the fight in their direction. As the round was coming to a close Rawlings sunk in a rear naked choke and ‘Gunnar’ was saved by the bell.
Rawlings spoke to MMALatest post fight about that choke at the end of round two and had this to say; “At the end of the second round I thought the ref said she tapped. I said to the referee that I think you said she tapped”. Bec was then unsure due to the referee’s instructions being spoken over the ten second klaxon and afterwards thought maybe she was mistaken.
At the beginning of the third, both fighters started strong again, trading shots until Rawlings opted to take the fight to the mat which would seemingly put her ahead on the score cards. Not getting comfortable on the mat, Rawlings sought after a triangle but Kallionidou found herself back to her feet and started to get something going but Rawlings just had enough in her tank to see herself to victory.
At the end of round one it appeared as though Rawlings’ conditioning wouldn’t be able to hold up, and after persevering, she had this to say “I had a bit of an adrenaline dump after the first round, I was feeling a little tired”.
Rawlings claims that her will to push forward was due to mental coaching, “I do a lot of stuff with my mental outlook, I do a lot of mental coaching with my coaches wife. We were trying to change my thought patterns and my inner voice, sometimes my inner voice can be a little bitch. I’ve trained, I’ve done like ninety minutes of non stop work leading up to this fight so I keep telling myself it’s only five minutes, and then one more (round of) five minutes, just shut the fuck up and put the work in.”
“Its about changing that mindset and turning off those inner voice’s thats going “this sucks, this hurts, you’re tired” and now its “keep going, you’ve got this, you’re a bad fucking bitch, go out there and just keep fucking going, so I just had to power through it and (it) changed the way I thought to myself and it worked.”
Photo Credit Bellator MMA/Lee Hamilton