Contemplating the quick discover nature of her UFC debut, Kay Hansen made a powerful first impression as a fighter to observe within the girls’s flyweight division. The 20-year-old former Invicta FC expertise took on latest Invicta & Rizin title contender Jinh Yu Frey on just some days discover at UFC on ESPN 12: Poirier vs. Hooker final Saturday, on the Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV. After a backwards and forwards first two rounds, Hansen hit a flying armbar, and completed off Frey with the submission within the ensuing scramble.

And whereas the victory might have been a candy one, it additionally seems to have introduced with it a brand new degree of scrutiny that Hansen’s time preventing in Kansas Metropolis didn’t. Specifically pictures from her early profession Invicta weigh-ins surfaced the place Hansen was sporting a collection of sturdy non secular and political messages. Issues like “Professional-Life, Professional-God, Professional-Gun,” “2 Corinthians 6:2” (usually learn as a warning to non-believers to show to Christ), and most notably a sports activities bra studying “I like how Candace Owens thinks.”

Hansen rapidly took to social media to elucidate these statements, calling them the product of a “manipulating and poisonous surroundings.”

In a latest interview with MMA Combating, Hansen expanded on her response. And whereas she didn’t give any particulars as to precisely what that surroundings was – past calling it an “at dwelling scenario” – or the place her present beliefs lie, she did make it clear that even on the time these have been statements that she wasn’t snug with.

“It’s loopy as a result of all these footage and stuff are from once I was 18,” Hansen stated. “I’m not able to share my story, per se, however within the quick sense, like I stated, I wasn’t in an surroundings the place I used to be capable of suppose for myself. I used to be manipulated and sort of closely influenced into portraying myself in a sure method. Whether or not it was for advertising functions or no matter, I used to be sort of in an surroundings and I didn’t know find out how to get out.

“And I used to be 18, so I used to be simply persuaded. It’s simply dumb as a result of I’m getting loads of warmth for issues that I didn’t even need to do myself on the time. I used to be actually 18. That’s the toughest half I take into consideration making my debut so younger on such an enormous stage with Invicta. Everybody messes up once they’re 18, however nobody sees it. Nobody will get scrutinized for it as a result of nobody is aware of about your mess-ups once you’re 18, however me it’s like every thing is on social media. Individuals are so fast to suppose they know me and suppose they know what I consider in and what my views are. Man, I used to be 18. I’m 20 now. For a bit over a yr now, I’ve been out of that surroundings I used to be referring to. I’ve been capable of be my very own individual and have my very own views. I’m not even the identical person who I used to be in these footage.”

To again up Hansen’s statements, the 10th Planet Fullerton athlete fought for Invicta three extra instances between 2019—2020, and in every of these bouts the political and spiritual messaging that marked her early profession was notably lacking.

With what appears more likely to be a protracted and hopefully fruitful MMA profession nonetheless in entrance of her, she ought to have loads of alternatives going ahead to indicate followers precisely what sort of individual she is each out and in of the cage. And, if she really doesn’t need to be tied to the messaging of her previous, to place all of it far behind her. For her half, Hansen advised MMA Combating that she feels that “there’s too many individuals making an attempt to placed on a pretend persona, and I did it too once I was 18. However I realized from it.”