Interview with Kaitlin Young

Kaitlin, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. It’s always great hearing from you. 
2013 was a milestone year for women in mixed martial arts. Everything from the UFC establishing a women’s division to Invicta Fighting championship putting on successful events. You have probably gotten this question a lot, but what are your thoughts on MMA this past year?
It’s amazing!I think most of us knew that as soon as Dana realized that there was money to be made on the women’s division and people would watch (Thank You, Invicta!), it would only be a matter of time until the divisions were added to the UFC. As the quotable Shayna Baszler would say, “It’s easy to be hungry when the feast is at the table now, [but] I was hungry when all we were being fed was crumbs.” 

Looking back at your fight with Lauren Murphy – known then as Lauren Taylor – you went the distance with her after she had been knockout opponents left and right, kind of like yourself. What do you think worked for you in that fight? What would you have changed if you could?
I should have had a better or more complete game plan. I had a great 1st round, but didn’t adjust well in the 2nd and 3rd. In hindsight, I believe I underestimated her. That will not be happening again. 

You have been away from competition since April. What were the things you learned from a technical perspective, during your time away from the cage?
I’ve been working in the Gi a lot more, and that has made a world of difference in my ground game. 

You mentioned that you learned different things from a business perspective. Can you elaborate on that?
I spent more time in supporting roles this past year, due to both injuries and fights falling through, and in that role you pay more attention to the things happening around you. I did more cornering, and had the opportunity to see how different promotions run their events. I got to see what works and what does not. I did some work for Invicta as well. When you are there to fight, you are so focused that you don’t always catch the minor details that make the promotion. I’ve also begun matchmaking the kickboxing cards for Driller MMA in Minneapolis. It is very interesting looking at fighters from this point of view, and has been an educational experience in what promoters look for when choosing whether or not to put a fighter on a card. 

Outside of fighting, yet somewhat related, I’ve also had the privilege of seeing how several different gyms run their business. Much like the promotions, learning what helps or hurts a gym is also very valuable information. 

For Invicta FC 7, you got a chance to show fans a behind the scenes look of how the competitors prepared for the event? How did you get tabbed for that role? 
I’m not quite sure, to be honest, but I’m not complaining! 

What was the experience like for you overall? Would you be up for doing another project like that for Invicta?
I‘d rather fight, but it was a great time. The fighters graciously cooperated, so I think we ended up with some good footage and were able to show the fans some of the happenings that are often glossed over. The guys from Apocalypse MMA did an amazing job editing. I’d definitely do it again.

When do you hope to have your next fight?
I hope to fight again in late March or April. I sustained a nasty facial laceration about two weeks ago, and I’d like to stay out of sparring a bit longer to ensure that it doesn’t pop back open. 

Are there any fighters you have your eye on or would you be fine with taking on whoever the promotion throws at you?
I’m not picky. There are a couple of other 135s in Invicta who are itching to fight, so I’m hoping to be matched with one of them on the next card. 

Looking at the overall picture what was 2013 like for Kaitlin Young?
It was kind of a bust as far as fighting goes. I broke my hand on May 31st. Once it was healed, I had a series of fights fall through. As I said, it was a learning experience but being laid off for a year is just too long. 

Now that 2013 is over, what are you looking for to this year? Not only in terms of fighting, but also in regards to business and just life in general?
I’m looking to make some major changes in my training and I want to fight more. Everything else is awesome. 

Is there anything you would like to add? Anyone would you like to thank or give a shout out to? 
I’d like to send a big thank you to Joe Taverni (JKD Doc) and Ty Bowling at Nutrishop in Lakeville who have been amazing supportive sponsors through the ups and downs. I’d also like to thank Anthony Hopkins of MMA Chick and Amber Sports Gear for being a solid guy in MMA and the gear sponsorship. Thanks to all of my teammates and coaches at The Academy and elsewhere, and of course, friends, family and fans!

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