Kay Hansen had a spectacular debut at UFC on ESPN 12:
•One one week's notice;
•Over former Invicta FC atomweight champ Jinh Yu Frey;
•Via an armbar cool enough to collect a $50,000 performance bonus and earn kudos from the mother of WMMA armbars Ronda Rousey;
•And she's just 20 years old.
However, in a sign of MMA fans generally, and the bonkers times we are living in, reactions on the social network expressed disapproval of apparel she had worn at 18, professing support for the Pro Life movement and conservative commentator and political activist Candace Owens.
I was very young and in a manipulating and toxic environment during that time in my life. I was also very young. Views and opinions evolve as well. Take all of this in to account before you jump on a hate train
I was very young and in a manipulating and toxic environment during that time in my life. I was also very young. Views and opinions evolve as well. Take all of this in to account before you jump on a hate train— Kay Hansen (@KayHansenMMA) June 30, 2020
"I’m not ready to share my story, per se, but in the short sense, I wasn’t in an environment where I was able to think for myself,” explained Hansen. “I was manipulated and kind of heavily influenced into portraying myself in a certain way. Whether it was for marketing purposes or whatever, I was kind of in an environment and I didn’t know how to get out."
"It’s just dumb because I’m getting a lot of heat for things that I didn’t even want to do myself at the time. I was literally 18. That’s the hardest part I think about making my debut so young on such a big stage with Invicta. Everyone messes up when they’re 18, but no one sees it. ... For a little over a year now, I’ve been out of that environment I was referring to. I’ve been able to be my own person and have my own views. I’m not even the same person that I was in those pictures.”
“I’m just figuring out who I am because I was told who to be for so long. One day I’ll come out and tell my story, but it’s still kind of fresh and I’m still figuring out how to move on from it. It was an at-home situation, for sure."
“My social media’s been blowing up since my fight. It’s kind of made me want to chuck my phone. ... I feel like there’s too many people trying to put on a fake persona, and I did it too when I was 18, but I learned from it. I think people want to see genuineness, so I try to be as raw and honest and genuine as possible."