When filming for The Ultimate Fighter season 20 starts in early July, ‘Rowdy’ Bec Rawlings knows she’ll have done everything in her power to prepare for six weeks of competition all leading towards the goal at the end of the year — winning the first ever women’s 115-pound title.
Rawlings was one of 16 cast members announced for the show and ever since she signed her UFC contact, the Australian born strawweight has worked tirelessly to seal the holes in her game with intense training ahead of the July shooting date. While she resides in Australia full time along with her children, Rawlings has started making regular trips to San Diego to work with the Alliance Training Center.
The southern California team houses some of the best fighters in the UFC including former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, Jeremy Stephens, Myles Jury, Phil Davis and Ross Pearson. It was actually a connection with Pearson that landed Rawlings in San Diego in the first place after debating about which American team she should join ahead of the show.
"My partner Ben (Wall) was good friends with Ross Pearson from when he was on the Ultimate Fighter, and so Ben was always planning on coming out to Alliance and I was laying out between the two teams — Alliance or Team Alpha Male," Rawlings explained when speaking to FOX Sports. "I just thought Alliance would suit me better just because Ben’s going to be here and he already has the contacts and you can’t go wrong with Dominick Cruz and Danny Martinez and all the little guys. I just thought Alliance was a better fit for me. It’s like a second home for me now."
Typically, fighters don’t get much down time to really train and perfect their craft because there’s always a ‘next opponent’ to focus on while in camp. This time around, however, Rawlings and the 15 other women all vying for the same gold had several months to train, get their weight on point, and prepare for the possibility of facing any number of styles once they arrive in the house.
It was here that Rawlings was able to fix some problem areas she had in previous fights while fine tuning her best attributes. By the time she fights next in July, there’s no doubt Rawlings will be ready for whatever the Ultimate Fighter throws at her.
"I think I am more well rounded now," Rawlings said. "I don’t think that I’m just a striker. I’ve been working on my wrestling a lot since I lost to Carla Esparza and just got out wrestled for five rounds. I’ve definitely been working on that. I’m also going in a little more clear headed and not just trying to kill. Like I go in there ‘I’ve got to kill them!’ meanwhile they’re trying to kill me, too. I’ve just got to go in there with a clear head and work more efficient and not just try to knock someone out."
Now to get to know Rawlings better ahead of The Ultimate Fighter season 20, we asked her a series of 10 questions both about the experience she’s about to have in the house as well as some of her personal favorite things to known what makes her tick.
Best part about being on The Ultimate Fighter
"The prize at the end of it."
The thing you’re going to miss the most
"My babies. My little angels that are devils, I’m going to miss them. A lot of people say they miss music a lot, and I listen to a lot of music, it mellows me out so probably those three combinations."
Do you have a favorite tattoo?
"I guess my children’s names on my neck, that means the most to me. My favorite one that I’ve got right now is my newest one that I’ve got on my leg, which is the gun in the garter. That’s my favorite cause that’s my newest."
What’s the one piece of technology you wish you could take with you?
"My phone. I can do everything on my phone."
Who do you think will be your best friend in the house?
"Us Aussies stick together so probably me and Alex (Chambers) but I’m really tight with Carla Esparza and Felice (Herrig) as well. All those three girls will be sticking together but probably Alex — Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!"
If you had a choice, who would be your coach on the show?
Coach Melendez meet Bec Rawlings
"I feel like either coach you can’t lose, they’re both amazing, but I think my fighting style would suit Gilbert Melendez a lot. Like the sprawl and brawl type style. Plus I absolutely love the Diaz brothers so I think his team would be the best for me, but Anthony Pettis is the best, he’s the champion of the world for a reason so you can’t lose."
What’s one song you listen to that nobody else should ever know about?
"I don’t really get embarrassed, but probably Enya."
What’s your favorite funny movie?
"I watch Shrek a lot, I watch kids movies. Shrek’s pretty funny and it has adult humor that the kids don’t know or understand so probably Shrek."
If the zombie apocalypse happened, what other UFC fighter would you take with you to survive?
"I’ll have Cowboy Cerrone. He can shoot the zombies."
Hollywood casts a movie based on your life – who plays you?
Bec Hyatt lookalike?
"I can’t even think of her name but she plays the girl role in American History X, everyone says I look like her. Fairuza Balk, maybe her with blonde hair."
Rawlings will spend the next three weeks in San Diego before venturing off to Las Vegas for filming of The Ultimate Fighter season 20 to begin. She can’t wait for the action to start, and from the sound of things neither can the rest of the world.
"Everyone’s just so excited and they’re sick of waiting," Rawlings said with a laugh. "Like how much longer? We don’t care about the other seasons, we just want to see yours! Strawweight is an awesome division and we really bring the fireworks."