After going undefeated during her run in the amateurs, flyweight prospect Hailey Cowan ended up suffering a defeat in her first pro fight last May to Victoria Leonardo at LFA 40.
Rather than view the loss as a negative setback, Cowan sees it as a blessing in disguise, and something that will help her in the long run.
“In hindsight of all the great things that have happened to me, (the loss) was probably the best thing that could have happened to me,” Cowan told MMAWeekly.com. “I was on a fast track – probably a little too fast – and I just needed some time in there.
“That loss kind of slowed me down a second and reminded me that I’m not invincible, and how no matter how good things are going anyone can lose on any given day. It was a good little reality check for me. (Since then) I went in there and got two knockouts, and that was fun, and we’ll see what happens next.”
Having come from a non-combat sports background, Cowan is admittedly still in the process of developing her MMA identity, but feels like things are progressing well and her previous athletic experience has helped with the transition.
“I’m much newer than most of the girls at this level, so I’m learning super-fast,” said Cowan. “I’m improved in every area, in every discipline. Most people consider me a striker, but I think I’m more of a wrestler, and hopefully I’ll be able to showcase a little bit more of that in 2019.
“I know the importance of discipline since from the time I was six years old. I know how to train and know what it takes. That’s something a lot of fighters have to learn the hard way. It’s helped a lot. The fundamental strength and understanding of my own body that I learned in gymnastics is something that has helped too.”
On March 29 in Belton, Texas, Cowan (2-1) will look to pick up her third win in a row when she faces Sarah Click (2-2) in a main card 125-pound bout at LFA 63.
“I have a little bit of a different style of Muay Thai than hers,” Cowan said of Click. “I do a little bit more of a Dutch style. I’m kind of excited to see how she responds to someone who is not going to just stand in front of her. I’m going to use a lot of forwards, backwards, and lateral movement against her. I’m really excited.”
Having hit speed bumps while on the fast track before, Cowan is now just looking to take things as they come and see what opportunities arise after each fight.
“I try to take it one fight at a time,” said Cowan. “Obviously I have some bigger objects that I want to reach and goals I want to achieve. I just signed a new contract with LFA, and I would love to finish this contract by the end of the year. I want to roll with the punches and see what happens.”