Utah’s 24 year old Kaytlin ‘Katniss’ Neil is set to return to the cage at Front Street Fights 10 this Friday in only her second pro MMA bout when she takes on
Ashley Deen. She has previously enjoyed a successful 4-2 career as an amateur. Neil talks to us about her opponent, what she learnt from her pro debut, goal to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, how she got into the sport and lots more. View the full transcript of the interview below.
You’ll be fighting Ashley Deen this Friday for Front Street Fights 10. What are your opinions on Deen as an opponent?
I think she is a tough opponent and this will be a great fight to watch.
What holes do you see in Deen’s game?
I don’t necessarily think it is a “hole” but I haven’t seen a fight where she went to the ground, so maybe that is a weakness for her? Not really sure.
We seen you make your pro debut back in October when you lost a unanimous decision to Cheri Muraski, what would you say was the biggest lesson you learnt from that fight?
The biggest lesson I learned from my Pro debut is to not gas myself out, and be a little more patient. I got a head kick knock down in the first round and spent a lot of my energy trying to finish the fight. I thought the ref was going to step in, but he never did and I still had to go 2 more rounds and kind of lost my mojo.
What team are you currently training with?
I train at the Four7 Training Center in Spanish Fork, Utah. I like training with them because I have been with most of these people since I started, five years ago. They know me and push me and my coaches are top-level and I really trust them.
How did you first get into fighting?
My friends took me to some MMA fights my first year of college, I thought they were cool so I started training.
This fight will be at 135lbs (Bantamweight), is this the weight class you feel most comfortable at?
Yes, this is the weight class I feel most comfortable in. I have fought at 150, which was nice because I spent a lot of time trying to gain weight. I also fought at 130 in which I felt fine, but I didn’t love losing that much weight. I think 135 is a good home for me.
Do you have any aspirations to someday fight for UFC?
Yes! That is the ultimate goal is to go to the UFC. I want to be on the Ultimate Fighter one day too, I think that would be a fun/unique experience.
With a win over Deen, what do you hope is next for you as you approach 2017?
I would hope to just keep winning and hopefully get picked up/noticed by a higher promotion and just keep moving up.
What do you hope to achieve before the end of your career?
I hope to get on The Ellen Show by the end of my career.
Thanks for joining us today Kaytlin, anything you’d like to add?
I just want to say thanks to everyone who supports me. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing without the support of my family, teammates, coaches, friends and of course God. I also want to say thanks to my sponsors, IdealFit, RawBerry Smoothies and a unique sponsor I got which was a guy who had a brother who died serving our country. So, thank you Spc. Nicholas Ryan Idalski for your service.
Kaytlin ‘Katniss’ Neil takes on Ashley Deen this Friday 9th December at Front Street Fights 10.