Bec Rawlings has had to make some tough choices in her pursuit of making it in mixed martial arts. She’s uprooted from her home in Australia, leaving behind her family and friends to chase her dream of becoming a UFC champion.
She also carries the weight of an entire continent on her shoulders when she enters The Ultimate Fighter 20: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez fighter house. Australians have appeared on two seasons of the reality show and haven’t been able to produce successful results. They were completely shut out of the finals during the recent series TUF Nations, which pitted Australians against Canadians.
“I think it motivates me,” Rawlings told MMAWeekly.com about Australian’s poor performances on the reality series. “A lot of people are saying that Australian fighters are rubbish and they’re never going to get anywhere. I think we’ve just had rough trot, and it happens.”
SEE ALSO: Bec Rawlings Video Interview
The difference between top-level athletes and those just on the cusp of making it is largely the sacrifices they’re willing to make to achieve their goals. The 25-year-old Aussie believes aspiring Australian fighters need to be willing to relocate to the U.S. once they’ve reached a certain level of success.
“That’s what I’ve done. I’ve taken my camp to the U.S. and really given it my all and put myself in the best opportunity possible to win this thing,” said Rawlings. “I just switched camps to Alliance MMA in San Diego, so we’ve been working on a lot of stuff, just trying to fix some stuff in my game. It’s taken my skillset to a whole new level.
“I think a lot of the Australian fighters need to succumb to that they have to come over to the U.S. for better camps. They can’t just do it in Australia anymore. It’s just not big enough,” she added.
Rawlings was not criticizing Australian MMA camps. She’s simply a realist who recognized that there comes a point that a fighter has to choose to seek out better training opportunities.
“I’ve got this far by training and fighting in Australia, so it’s not that bad. But there comes a time when you have to come over here because this is where all my opponents are training,” said the TUF 20 contestant. “They’re getting the best possible training, so I needed to that for myself as well.”