Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kaitlin Young Interview

Anytime I can interview Kaitlin Young, its a huge deal for me. Kaitlin is the reason I became such a big women's MMA fan. I just loved watching her fight. Getting to know her, I learned he is an awesome person. After a bit of a losing streak, Kaitlin will bring a two fight winning streak into her fight with Leslie Smith at the debut card from Invicta. On a night filled with talented female fighters, don't be surprised if Kaitlin makes a big statement and shows her name belongs up there with the top fighters in her weight class.

Q: As a female fighter, what does being on a card like Invicta mean to you?
A: Its such an amazing opportunity. I think its gonna be cool to fight on a card with so many talented fighters. The level of professionalism coming from Janet Martin and Shannon Knapp has been incredible. It's really awesome. They are doing the little things to go the extra mile. Little things like direct flights haha, has been really nice. They are super professional. A month out and we already have our flight info, it's great.

Q: With the right people behind it, like Janet and Shannon, can an all female promotion have long term success?
A: I believe so. I think Shannon touched on this in an interview, she said it's not a secret that female fighters who are ranked high don't make as much as male fighters. I think what Invicta can do, is they have a lot of female fighters with good name recognition who have fought on tv. Some have been in the sport a long time, you have Marloes Coenen, Liz Carmouche coming in from Strikeforce, tons of them. I think a promotion starting out, if you took a male fighter with the same recognition as some of the women, you would have to pay more to be competitive with a Strikeforce or a Pro Elite, to get that person on your card. But you can get that name recognition in women who will get you ticket sales and views and good sponsorship. They will be able to spend less to get the same type of viewership. It gives them a benefit. They can still pay the females well compared to what the big shows will pay them.

Q: You had a bit of a losing streak, but have won two in a row after beating Anna Barrone in January, does that make you feel you are back on track?
A: Yeah, I've felt that way for awhile. I have a win that no one is aware of which is fine, and I won a Thai Boxing fight during that time. So it looks like a five fight losing streak, its actually four. But yeah, I feel like a different fighter at this point, a much more experienced fighter.

Q: When you are on a losing streak can it have a big affect on your confidence?
A: Yeah, it did for sure. I think there were a couple fights I lost because of my mentality than other factors. That's not to take away from my opponents. I think it can have a big affect, so its important when you are in that situation to get rid of anyone in your camp or life who is contributing negative energy. Someone who makes cracks about something in your game not being good enough. That's not to say you don't want positive criticism, but people who act as though they are on your side but are rooting against you, need to be booted from your camp.

Q: You are fighting Leslie Smith, what do you know about her?
A: She's 5'9", which is tall for a 135, but we are about the same height, so it will be interesting. Almost everyone I have fought has been shorter. She has a pretty expensive Thai Boxing background.

Q: Her record I have seen 2-2 or 3-2, but with two wins over the same girl, is it fare to say you are a big step up in competition for her?
A: I think that's fare to say.

Q: Could the pressure of it get to her?
A: She fought Kerry Vera and went all three rounds I believe, so she has had pressure before. So I don't feel it will be a huge thing. I am really hoping I get the best Leslie Smith I can have.

Q: With so many females, is their a part of you that wants to put on an impressive show, kind of steal the show and be the person everyone is talking about afterwords?
A: Oh absolutely. I really hope to make a big impression with this fight.

Q: Where do you feel you hold the biggest advantage?
A: I guess we both have a similar striking background, but I feel I hold an advantage in athleticism. I feel I am a little faster and stronger than her. We will see when we are in there. A lot of times you get in and realize things are different than you first assumed, but it seems that way to me.

Q: What about her poses the biggest threat to you?
A: She is pretty good at striking from a distance, using her range. her movement is a little unorthodox. The other benefit is their isn't much tape on her. She has been in Thailand so she could have a whole new bag of tricks that I haven't seen. Being under the radar can be a positive for her.

Q: Very few fighters come in in the shape you do. If it goes three rounds, does your condition give you an advantage in that third round?
A: I think so. I am doing everything I can to be ready for this fight. I feel confident going in that there is nothing more I can do. So fifteen minutes compared to my training schedule seems short haha.

Q: Is there a key for you to winning this fight?
A: This is gonna sound vague, but I think sticking to my game plan and imposing my will. Not let it turn into her fight at her range. Keeping the fight in my rhythm.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: No I don't. I'm sorry haha, but I really don't.

Q: After this, any idea what you want next or just focusing on this?
A: I haven't looked into anything after this. I don't know. I wanna keep moving, have tough fights, but its kind of uncertain what is gonna happen with the women's division. I have to be a conspiracy theorist, but I think its fascinating Maura Ranallo is coming to announce and Stitch Duran to do cuts. I would love to fight for Invicta again, but every female will be trying to fight for them. I just wanna stay active.

Q: Is there anyone on this card you look forward to watching?
A: The three fights after mine I am excited for. I can hang out and eat donuts and watch. I am excited to see Liz and Marloes fight.

Q: Anyone you wanna thank?
A: Absolutely! Gamebred Fightwear, Intimidation Clothing, Ethic Fight Co., Greg Nelson, Ryan Murray, Nat McIntyre and all my teammates at the Academy, Robert Brant, Matt Miller at Horsepower Strength and Conditioning. And thank you Jason.

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