‘I feel like I started this sport so late and to come this far, and then get the opportunity to fight for the first women’s belt on HEX is pretty surreal.’ Says HEX flyweight champion Lisa Kyriacou.
Kyriacou captured the title at HEX 25 in February when she picked up a decision victory over Amena Hadaya, in a bout the champion said made her feel like she was debuting again.
‘It meant everything to me. Coming into that fight it felt like it was my first ever fight again. I think cause it was the first time I ever fought for a belt as a pro, so I just wanted that so badly…it meant the absolute world to me.’
Despite these nerves, Kyriacou says she felt confident in her abilities in the cage and her evolution as a mixed martial artist.
‘My last opponent was quite wrong thinking I was going to be wild out there cause that was not going to happen…if you look back at my amateur fights I was quite wild and I was very scrappy, from my pro career moving forwards I think I’m actually quite technically good, a very good striker now, and I like to pick my shots and pick my opponents apart.’
In the main event of HEX 25, Kyriacou’s teammate Kaan Ofli also won a title when he submitted Jarrett Wilbraham in the third round via rear naked choke, bringing another championship to Absolute MMA.
‘It was a super special moment. We’re both in the gym training so hard for this moment, trying to get fit and ready, and to both get that win, it was real emotional but such a nice moment together, as a team. We’re such a strong team at Absolute MMA, for us to both walk away with the belt was just a real grateful moment…really special.’ Said Kyriacou.
Kyricaou credits her evolution as a fighter to her experience, and ability to learn from both her wins and her losses, especially at the amateur level.
‘Every fight was such a good learning lesson. With each of those wins and losses I learned so much. Probably learned more from the losses than the wins, in the time you lose obviously it feels horrible, but now looking back as a professional I’m grateful for those losses. Even in my first pro fight, I obviously had a loss against Jacinta [Austin], and from that fight I feel like a different person, my mindset completely changed after that.’
Leading into a fight, Kyriacou uses visualization to calm her mind and keep her composure.
‘A lot of visualization. I like to really think about the backstage to the walk out, to just being in there and being calm and content and focus on my breathing…just really focusing on my breathing and not getting too tired or working too much, just going at a nice pace.’ She said.
These mental exercises lead to Kyriacou feeling calm and relaxed come fight time.
‘Honestly, backstage when I’m getting ready, I’m just sitting out the back, eating lollies, usually talking shit to people…once its time to fight it’s time to fight.’
Currently, Kyriacou says she’s looking forward to the next step in her career, which she feels could be a fight on the international stage.
‘I’m just ready to get back at it. Hopefully I hear some news soon…Ready to get back in there ASAP.’
‘Obviously it’s every fighters dream to make the UFC and I do see that in my future and I will make that happen, and I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get there.’