In MMA—a sport as real as it gets—Shaianna ‘Yaya’ Rincon (am 4-0, pro 0-0) competes under a guise, not only a nickname but an entirely different persona.
Rincon, on May 20, 2017, will debut at Invicta Fighting Championships 23 against Brooksie ‘The Bear’ Bayard (1-1), and while appearing as a special guest on Episode 19 of NorCal MMA’s Fight Talk (link here), she exposed a competitive layer to her that remains hidden until the bell rings.
A week away from Rincon’s muscular bantamweight frame dotting a corner in the belly of Kansas City’s Scottish Rite Temple, a frequent stop for the all-female fight promotion, her inner-Dr. Jekyll already began rearing its ugly head,
“The adrenaline is starting to kick in,” Rincon stated with a casual acceptance. “Usually I’m visualizing further out, and then when it gets closer, it starts to get more intense.” Try as she might, Rincon struggles to tamper the inner beast attempting to hatch from her heart, “So here I am, forcing myself to take melatonin and drink tea to go to sleep. I call it the ‘fire in my chest.’ Sometimes, it seeps out.” As a recent example, Rincon recalled, “Yesterday, I was doing these jump rope drills and getting irritated at the jump rope; it’s just the raw aggression coming out.”
Four times in a row as an ammy and next, before all the eyes in attendance and those logged in to the live stream on UFC Fight Pass, as a professional, Rincon will mentally transform from her reality in hopes of keeping her prizefighting dreams alive,
“I say that I assume a personality that is different from my own. I can’t be myself in the cage. I have to be someone else; otherwise, I’ll care too much about the person. I have to put on a certain type of mask to be able to, quote: ‘murder someone.’”
After further investigation, Rincon generated a mixed martial artist’s rendering of the trance she falls into, “When I was younger, I used to be a really angry child. When I go out there, I just fall back to who I used to be when I was younger. I’m just ready to beat the shit out of someone. I try not to be too cocky, but I get this cocky thing about me when someone hits me in my head; I think, ‘That didn’t fucking do anything to me.’” Keeping her contrastive characters compartmentalized, as Rincon noted, will concoct a vivid future for this talented prospect out of MMAGOLD in El Dorado Hills, “But you can’t do that Yaya; you’ve just got to move your head and adjust. So I’m definitely a different person when I fight.”
Capture both halves of Rincon’s coin by paying close attention to her warmth with the media leading into Invicta FC 23 and her cold-blooded tendencies after formal introductions while the action is delivered to homes around the world on UFC Fight Pass.