Brittany Bickhart ended her night at USKA Fight Sports Reloaded on Saturday 12/8/18 with a 30-26 unanimous decision win in her debut fight and was awarded “Fighter of the Night” honors. It is hard to imagine a better start in her kickboxing career. However, Bickhart’s short standup career has already had some adversity in the form what was supposed to be her debut fight falling apart just hours ahead of her fight back in July. Bickhart could have been discouraged and given up on her fighting aspirations. Instead she persisted in training and made her debut with a vengeance. Read her responses to FSM’s first ever “After Action Review”. After Action Review (ARR) is a term first used by the US Army in regards to debriefing personnel after battlefield action and is now applied to any analysis of what worked and did not work in regards to an event.
Given how your fight fell through in July what were your emotions when you realized that this time your fight was happening?
After the outcome of my last fight I did not want to get my hopes up until we were all weighed in and saw the doctor. Although I still trained my butt off as if, no matter what, the fight was happening. I felt calm coming into this fight thinking “it is what it is”.
What has training been like since July? Did you focus on Muay Thai or other aspects including MMA?
After not being able to fight I was back in the gym on that Monday with a crazy hunger to train. I was in a funk for a little bit, not being able to fight was mentally hard to face but I did not give up. “You just have to keep going”. I focused on Muay Thai but I also took did a Jiu Jitsu tournament in October which I took 1st in. After the tournament it was all Muay Thai with a little jiu Jitsu to stay sharp.
How did you stay motivated after the disappointment of your debut fight not happening?
I have had a lot of setbacks in life that I felt “what else could go wrong?” I realized that is such a weak way of thinking. No matter how down and out I can get I still keep going because I know someday it will all make sense. I have a lot of people that motivate me throughout life. I try to take something out of the smallest situations. Some people do not realize a simple little conversation could be something that sticks with someone for the rest of their life. I owe a lot of motivation to my loved ones always believing in me, they keep me going. Also my best friend Sam who has been given a hard hand in this life but always finds a reason to smile. My mom’s favorite song is “move along” by All American Rejects. Sometimes that’s all we can do is just move a long and keep rolling with the punches.
How did you feel during the fight? How was it round by round?
Crazy feeling walking out because I had been waiting for that moment for so long. First round I felt GREAT, second round is when I started to get really tired. I feel this is when I started to get kind of sloppy but now I know what to work on. I give the girl lots of credit just when I thought she was doing down she would come back with a combo. Third round I was exhausted, one point I was getting lazy and going against the ropes, she hit me with a knee to the body and then a hook to the body. Then I told myself “alright you gotta do something”. She was a hard hitter and the fight could have been over with one good shot from her. I remember my coach yelling “push the pace! She is tired!” In my head I’m like “I’m tired too!” Once the Third round was over I was happy because I knew I won…but all I could say was “water…I need water!”
You looked very comfortable relaxed and composed even though this was your debut fight. To what do you credit that?
I feel all the sparring and training I have done at different gyms helped out a lot with me feeling comfortable. Also that is where I feel the best, I love to train. I literally live for this stuff.
What did you feel work the best for you? Are those the weapons that you expected to work?
I used my reach for my advantage but I wish I would have used more punch kick combos. I used a lot of “1,2” combos . Simple, but they seemed to be working out for me.
What takeaways did you learn from the experience?
The rush of the entire fight and the whole experience! And to take my time, I was constantly was trying to go in for the kill so I need to work on keeping a good pace.
How does it feel to earn fighter of the night status?
It is an absolutely incredible feeling to get fighter of the night. I really appreciate and I am honored to receive it. There were so many ups and downs leading up to that fight and to warn fighter of the night is something really special to me!
What’s next for you?
Next…I am not 100% sure what I will be doing right away. I have some things to take care of for my body but I know I want to get back in the ring ASAP. I want to keep the ball rolling, this fight is only the beginning!! Ready to get out a learn some more!