KAITLIN YOUNG INTERVIEW
By Zach Heim, RCM MMA Correspondent
Real Combat Media:How did you get into the sport?
Young:I began seriously training in Tae Kwon Do when I was 14. After several years of TKD, I took a couple of random kickboxing fights as soon as I was able to legally sign my own waiver. At 19 I witnessed some live Muay Thai fights and knew immediately that I wanted to compete. I began training at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy two days later, and have been there since. After a few years of training/fighting amateur muay thai, at the suggestion of my coach, I began training for MMA and took my first pro fight in 2007 at the age of 22.
Real Combat Media:What was it like fighting Gina Carano on the first ever women’s prime time fight in elite xc?
Young:It was wild. I had only made my MMA debut 8 months prior, so to go from a small show in Maplewood, MN to the largest stage MMA had ever been on in that short amount of time was a bit surreal. It was definitely a crash course in all things media related. I wish I had been a bit wiser and more advanced when the opportunity arose, but overall I think it has helped my career.
Real Combat Media:I was at the hook and shoot when you knocked out 3 ladies to win the tournament in Evansville, IN which is where I am from. How was it fighting tournament style?
Young:I really like the tournament style format. The first fight is a bit of a warm up in a sense. It gets rid of the pre-fight jitters. After that it is only about performance. I may have felt differently if I had sustained an injury in the early rounds, however. The Evansville crowd was AMAZING and so welcoming to all of us. It will always be one of my favorite places to have ever fought.
Real Combat Media: How does it feel knowing you have such an amazing knock out win over Meisha Tate and seeing her fight for the title?
Young:It’s bittersweet. I’m glad to have that great win, but it also makes me feel frustrated that I’m not currently in a position to have similar opportunities.
Real Combat Media:What was you hardest fight?
Young: That’s a tough call. I’d say the Lauren Murphy. She has very unorthodox movement, so she is hard to time, and EXCELLENT top pressure. It’s funny to me that people keep understimating her.
Real Combat Media: Which fight did you enjoy the most?
Young: That’s another hard one to answer. I think my fight with Anna Barone was the most fun. I was kind of salty because she had missed weight by so much after I had already agreed to move up, so I was pretty fired up. It was in front of all of my friends and family in my hometown and was just an overall good time.
Real Combat Media: What fight would you want next?
Young: I think it would be great if Julie and Shannon had me fight Raquel Pa’aluhi on the next Invicta card. We are both itching to fight, and have basically agreed to it on Twitter.
Real Combat Media: Any advice for someone wanting to get into the sport?
Young: I would tell them that you can’t trust most people in this sport. Look out for yourself first, but always take care of those who take care of you. Train like your fights are going to happen, but from a financial standpoint, you need to assume that they will not.
Real Combat Media:How much longer will you fight?
Young: I will fight as long as I feel motivated to do so. I’m not sure when that will end, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.