For Bec Rawlings, competing in her home country was the perfect time to score her first Octagon victory.
Rawlings locked up a rear-naked choke on Lisa Ellis in the opening round at UFC Fight Night 65, putting an end to a feud that started on The Ultimate Fighter 20.
Last December, Rawlings (6-4) suffered a decision defeat to Heather Jo Clark. Her win over Ellis was the first victory since 2013 when she submitted Jasminka Cive.
“It’s been a tough few years, but you have to chase your dreams,” said Rawlings, a single mother. “A lot of people hate on me for chasing my dreams, but I set a good example for my children.
“The sky’s the limit for everyone, not just me.”
Rawlings was eliminated on TUF by Tecia Torres, which kept her from her children, Zake and Enson. She also separated from fellow fighter Ben Wall recently.
After suffering the loss to Clark, “Rowdy” and her team decided to use pressure to impose their will on Ellis.
“Girls don’t like being pressured and having fists in their face,” she said. “We wanted to use down pressure, I wanted to punish her and hurt her. I wanted to make a statement.”