This Saturday at Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann, knockout artist Kaitlin Young returns to action after battling to a three round draw in an incredible fight against Leslie Smith at the promotion’s debut event last April. This time around she faces former Strikeforce bantamweight title challenger Liz Carmouche. (Carmouche is also making her sophomoric Invicta outing, having knocked out Ashleigh Curry just two minutes into the opening stanza last time around.)
Young burst onto the MMA scene in 2007, knocking out her first four opponents (including a beautiful headkick KO over Miesha Tate) in just over seven weeks’ time and capturing the HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix Championship in the process.
Young has a distinct height and reach advantage over her upcoming opponent Carmouche and a win here would do a lot in her favor. Defeating a woman the likes of "Girl-Rilla" and extending her unbeaten streak to four would put her near the top of the list at 135-pounds; when Invicta starts crowning champions, Young may get the call for the inaugural bantamweight title fight.
Thankfully Kaitlin took the time out of her busy training schedule for an exclusive MMABurner interview.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Kaitlin, when did you start practicing Martial Arts and how did you get into MMA?
Kaitlin Young: I started practicing martial arts competitively at age 14 in Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do. That eventually led to kickboxing fights, then I started in the Muay Thai program at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy at age 19. Two and a half years later, I had my first professional MMA fight.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Your opponent Liz Carmouche is a big name in the WMMA community and has fought some of the best in the world. What are your thoughts on this opportunity? And what are your thoughts on Liz Carmouche as an opponent?
Kaitlin Young: I have a great deal of respect for Liz. It is always a pleasure to have an opponent who you can count on to train hard, make weight, and put on a great performance with you. I am so happy to be fighting top competition in the top promotion for female fighters.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What are some of your long and short-term goals with your MMA Career?
Kaitlin Young: My short term goal is to be victorious in this upcoming fight against Liz. My long term goal is to become the absolute best fighter I can be, and at the end of my career to know that there is nothing more I could have done to maximize my potential. I want to be the best.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Is there a dream fight that you are hoping for down the road?
Kaitlin Young: I really want to fight everybody for the most part. I’d like to fight Kaufman eventually, if only for the excitement factor alone.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What are some of your hobbies?
Kaitlin Young: What are those? Haha. I have very little downtime between training others and my own training. I enjoy stand-up comedy, documentaries, and cute animals.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Who are some of your best training partners at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy?
Kaitlin Young: We have an incredible team. Its hard to call anyone the "best", because they are great for different reasons. They are really a very giving group. We all have different strengths, and use them to help each other. This isn’t just the fight team, either. For the most part, everyone at The Academy is willing to pitch in and help out when you are striving for something.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What is your favorite movie? And what is your favorite Martial Arts movie?
Kaitlin Young: That is a tough one. I don’t watch a lot of movies. One of my favorite documentaries is Fog of War. It features Robert McNamara speaking very candidly about the Cold War, among other things. I am not a big martial arts movie buff. The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might be my favorite martial arts film.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): There’s no question your striking is world-class. Is it fun to put a whoopin on some of the boys at the MN Martial Arts Academy?
Kaitlin Young: Ha! Well, I take as many beatings as I give. We have a lot of really great guys in the gym.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What is your favorite (or biggest) moment thus far in your MMA Career?
Kaitlin Young: That is a tough call. I’ve been fortunate to have some very good opportunities come my way. My favorite moment was probably winning my first fight and realizing that MMA was going to be something I really enjoyed.
Patrick: (MMABurner.com): I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. Are there any sponsors you would like to thank?
Kaitlin Young: Absolutely! Gamebred Fightwear, MMA Chick, Intimidation Clothing, and Sterling Entertainment Group.