Fighting Words: Kaitlin Young
Battle forged Kaitlin Young brings her exciting and hard charging style back to the Invicta FC cage November 1st at Invicta FC 9 when she goes toe to toe with Cindy Dandois.
Corey Smith: Your reputation for producing exciting fights coupled with always facing top level talent seems firmly entrenched in the minds of the fans. Have you ever considered turning down any opponent?
Kaitlin Young: I have turned down opponents in the past. If it is a close friend, or a tough opponent coupled with a proportionately low offer, I will say no.
CS: Several months ago, you received one of the largest gashes on your forehead that most fans had ever seen. How did the gash occur? How long did it take to fully heal?
KY: It was nasty! It was just a training accident. One of my teammates kicked and I shot a double at the same time. I ended up catching his knee on my forehead. Luckily, the forehead is incredibly hard. The CT scan showed up clean – no concussion or structural damage – just a cut. I count it as a near miss because had it been a couple of inches lower I would have had to have reconstructive surgery.
KY: Healing was a bit delayed because the doctor who completed the stitches was NOT a plastic surgeon. I was told the person who would be coming in to do the stitches WAS a plastic surgeon, and found out later when it was healing poorly that she was not.
KY: I ended up having to have the scar revised because it was so raised where the skin had overlapped. I’m back to full training now, but the last procedure was done in July when the initial injury was in January.
CS: How do you balance a full training camp with safety and being fresh enough for your actual fight? What does a typical training day entail?
KY: I just recently relocated to Los Angeles from Minneapolis, so my typical day in camp has changed a great deal from my last MMA fight. The schedule changes day to day. Most days I have a 1.5 – 2 hour practice in the morning, a 1.5-2 hour practice in the evening, with hill running and minimal weight lifting sprinkled in throughout the week. I try to get a nap in before practice #2. I’m paying a lot more attention to the amount of rest I get during camp, which is far more important than I once believed it was. I’ve noticed a big difference in my energy level for practices already.
CS: Your behind the scenes video at Invicta FC 7 was very popular with the fans. What was that experience like for you?
KY: It was a blast! It was fun to try to capture the things we fighters see all of the time, but the fans are rarely exposed to like cutting weight, hand wrapping, and eating nothing but celery the night before weigh-ins. For me, it was interesting to see how other fighters do things. When you are there getting ready for your own fight, you aren’t even really noticing what everyone else is doing. At Invicta 7, I watched others prepare. I got to see the different coaching styles, what they were doing to cut weight, etc. I’d love to do something like that again one day.
CS: You are returning to the Invicta FC cage after more than a year off. Do you have any concerns with ring rust?
KY: I haven’t had an MMA fight in about a year and a half, but I had a K1 fight in Russia with WAKO’s Team USA over the summer. I didn’t feel too rusty then, so I am not worried about it in November.
CS: Your opponent at Invicta FC 9 on November 1st, Cindy Dandois, is an experienced grappler fighting out of Belgium. How familiar are you with Dandois? Anything in particular you are focusing on in training camp for her?
KY: I have seen most of her fights. I have increased concentration on wrestling for this camp, and am fortunate to have some experienced judo players as training partners. I will be well-prepared for this match-up.
CS: What is your mood on fight night? Do you have any routines or superstitions that you have to perform?
KY: I tend to fight best when I am relaxed and not too serious prior to the fight. I like to be around people who make me laugh.
CS: Who generally accompanies you to the cage? What type of feedback and coaching do you prefer from your corners?
KY: As I said before, I have just moved camps so this is new for me. I will have Sevak Ohanjanian and Nick “The Goat” Thompson in my corner for this fight. As a general rule, I prefer a positive coaching style. Tell me what TO DO, not what NOT TO DO. That is kind of coaching 101 though, and I think most good coaches understand that concept.
CS: You have begun to do a bit of matchmaking for a local promotion in your home state of Minnesota. How has that experience been? Any new found respect for other matchmakers?
KY: I did, and I’d like to give a shout to Jeremy Bjornberg for that! While I appreciated the experience, honestly, it was a real pain. I loved the opportunity to make fights and create opportunities for guys who are working so hard in the gym. I hated the flakiness of some fighters and managers, which was sometimes blatant cowardice, and then seeing the subsequent social media posts about how tough/badass/up for a challenge they are.
KY: That said, I would recommend the guys who were actually on our card to anyone looking for kickboxers or MT fighters. They all came in shape and fought their hearts out. It gave me a huge appreciation for promoters, and I’m a little surprised any of them do it.
CS: Outside of the gym and MMA, what types of activities do you enjoy for fun? What helps you to relax?
KY: I like to hit the beach, take the dog to the park, watch stand-up comedy or documentaries, and between fights eat copious amounts of baked goods.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
KY: I’d really like to thank Sevak, Edmond, and Martin at GFC in Glendale, Josh and Erik at CSW in Fullerton, and Rener and Ryron at Gracie Academy in Torrance for all of the awesome training leading up to this fight. I’d also like to thank my sponsors Joe Taverni, M.D., and Amber Sports Gear for their continued support. A big thanks to my manager Nick Thompson, and all the training partners who work with me day in and day out. You guys are the best!
Invicta FC 9 takes place November 1st live from the RiverCenter in Davenport, Iowa.
Tickets are on sale via the Ticketmaster link below.
The full card will air live via UFC Fight Pass. Click below to subscribe to UFC FightPass.