Kaitlin Young has always been one of the most entertaining and devastating strikers in all of women's MMA.
Her insane head kick knockout of Miesha Tate nearly five years ago is a testament to that.
With those big and exciting victories, she earned some high profile fights like Gina Carano live on CBS, although she would come out on the short end of that opportunity.
Recently, after a two fight winning streak, Young was given the big stage at the inaugural Invicta Fighting Championships event a couple months back against Leslie Smith and both ladies put on a war. It was one of the most entertaining and action-packed female fights in history and despite ending in a draw, both ladies came out looking fabulous.
Now, "The Minnesota Wrecking Machine" will be taking on the imposing Liz Carmouche at Invicta FC 2 this Saturday night (July 28, 2012) in Kansas City, Kansas. She spoke with MMAmania.com during a special guest appearance on The Verbal Submission about her upcoming fight in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): That last fight against Leslie Smith was an absolute war. You both did so much damage to each other that I'm actually surprised you were going to be healthy enough to even compete at this event.
Kaitlin Young: Yeah, my hands were really banged up after that one. That took a while. I actually fashioned this weird knuckle protector that I was wearing for the first half of camp but they're doing great now. So yeah, training has been going well.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): After the first fight being a draw and so entertaining, would you have been open to a rematch on this show?
Kaitlin Young: would have been open to it. I think sometimes rematches, if it had been given a little more time, like if you give some fights more time to build, perhaps give us each a few fights in between, then it would be more interesting for the fans. In all honesty, I'm just excited to be fighting for Invicta so that's what matters.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've talked about how Invicta took care of you in the past, how "the only thing you had to worry about was the fight." Can you discuss how Invicta treated you before, during and after the fight?
Kaitlin Young: Oh absolutely. It was great. These are maybe all smaller things but all added up, it means a lot. They had these cute little gift boxes for us and a lot of times, other promotions don't consider that you might not want to share a room with your coach if you've got a significant other so that's really nice too since a lot of female fighters do have male coaches. They give you the option for a separate room and not a lot of promotions do that.
They had drivers assigned to take us where we needed to be and there were a ton of things. They were super organized like giving flight information in a timely manner so it was easier to plan. It's easier because everything is being done on their part and all you are thinking about is your training and making weight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Let's talk about your upcoming fight against Liz Carmouche. I hav eto say, in terms of physical presence, she has to be one of the most intimidating fighters in the women's 135 pound division. What's your take on her and what she brings to the table?
Kaitlin Young: Yeah, she's a good athlete. She's very determined. I think she has a good coach behind her that cares a lot about her and that's a big deal. By that I mean she doesn't play second string there because she's a female fighter because that sometimes does happen at bigger camps. She's really good at bullying people. That's something that I'm gonna have to deal with when I'm in there and try to put it on her a bit.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): In her last fight, she faced a boxer that hadn't quite made the full transition to mixed martial arts so I thought that maybe people might not get a full scouting report on her because she didn't face someone that could really hang with her on the ground at all. Is that something that you saw too?
Kaitlin Young: I don't want to say anything negative about Ashleigh Curry. Maybe she had an off night and I know she had a really good boxing record so I think the matchmakers were thinking it would be a strikers vs grappler and I wouldn't even call Liz a grappler, she's more of a ground and pounder. I think they were hoping it would be one of those matches but it didn't quite work out as planned. I think I'm much more experienced in the MMA realm though.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've stepped in there against a who's who of the best female fighters in MMA. Now first impressions, and you haven't had a chance to test this but how would you rank Liz Carmouche compared to some of the opponents you've faced in the past?
Kaitlin Young: She's right up there. She's different but obviously she's right up there with Julie Kedzie, Miesha Tate and Gina Carano. Her only losses have been to fellow top women. You've got Marloes who was number one at 135 and is a big 135 and she lost to Kaufman who's an excellent, excellent MMA striker so she's high up there.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned Liz has good ground and pound and I know you're more known for your striking, but how confident are you with your ground game heading into this fight?
Kaitlin Young: Everybody knows me as a striker but I spend more time working on the ground than I do on striking. I prefer to strike but I feel pretty comfortable on the ground now.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Yes and you train at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy which has some of the best wrestlers and grapplers in the UFC's lightweight division like Sean Sherk, Nik Lentz and Jacob Volkmann. Those are some legit ground fighters.
Kaitlin Young: And for somebody that enjoys striking so much, it's an excellent place to be because I've got so many guys who can take me down at will. I guess I don't have further comment on it but yeah, I feel confident on the ground.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned how Liz has had difficulty against the elite female fighters she's faced in her career. Do you look at the way Sarah Kaufman was able to keep the fight standing and outpoint her as a potential gameplan for this fight?
Kaitlin Young: Yes. Sarah and I have a slightly different style of striking but yeah, there are certain things I'll be trying to take from that fight to implement in my gameplan.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I know you're friends with Shayna Bazler so hwo does it feel to be sharing the top of the card with her in such a big event?
Kaitlin Young: Oh it's awesome. It's gonna be so much fun. Jessamyn Duke also came up here to train this past December, like over Christmas and she was at the gym so I'm excited to be with her as well. It's funny, you start to get to know these fighters and then it starts feeling like a family reunion or something, getting to see each other. I always enjoy watching her fight and I'm glad she's fighting after me so I can relax, eat a donut and watch her work.
To listen to the complete audio of our chat with Kaitlin Young, click here (interview begins at the 7:00 mark).