Amateur Spotlight: Kaytlin C. Neil, Cheerleader to Bantamweight Fighter; 3-0
Orem, Utah- As women continue to shatter the glass ceiling, Mixed Martial Arts has transformed into a popular female profession. The unlimited potential for female athletes within MMA attracts many of the most talented athletes to the sports. In Orem, Utah; a young women overcame her skeptical view of MMA. Kaytlin Neil found a new passion within herself as she is creating big splashes in the amateur Bantamweight division.
Neil was first introduced to the sport her freshmen year of college after being dragged to a fight by friends. After witnessing two athletes sportsmanship at the end of their bout, Neil found a new appreciation to the world’s fastest growing sport. While in the audience, one female bout was on the card that captured her attention.
The former high school competitive cheerleader entered a gym having zero knowledge of any combat sports. Since having an athletic background and a strong competitive edge, MMA has become Neil’s passion.
As an amateur fighter she has fought in three bouts defeating each opponent. In Neil’s first fight she defeated her foe by submission. In the second fight she took care of business stacking up points each round to earn a victory by unanimous decision. Her third fight on June 28, 2014, was a battle testing the young amateur will, but the resilient fighter won by split-decision. Neil has fought for Showdown Fights promotions in Orem, Utah and The Clash Fights in Logan, Utah.
Neil, 22, has only been training in Mixed Martial Arts for two and a half years. Her training takes place at The Pit Elevated in Orem, Utah. The Utah Valley University student starts her intensive training about six weeks out leading up to a fight. During training they hone in on all of her skills, but place a strong emphasis on striking. Neil finds enjoyment in “Punching and kicking,” as well as “wrestling and choking people, and breaking limbs,” Neil mentioned as her favorite skills.
The Utah County native has many aspirations for her MMA career. She would like to earn an amateur belt and turn pro within the next year or two. Neil will be a participant on Tuff-N-uff in Mesquite, Nevada on August 23, 2014.
The bantamweight fighter has no intention of changing weight class and plans to continue improving with every experience. As a Community Health Major, expect Neil to improve rapidly over her career. Already at 3-0, this young woman is full of ambition and heart. Expect to continue seeing long strides by the bantamweight throughout her career.
“If I can fight, so can you. If you want to do it you shouldn’t let anything or anyone stop you.” Neil said. Her words of encouragement to other athletes with the desire compete in MMA carries a powerful meaning about the support system surrounding her. “And I love Ellen Degeneres.”
Be sure to follow the talented fighter and glowing smile of Kaytlin Neil on Twitter @Kaytlin_c and on Instagram @KaytlinCneil for live updates and results.
“I fight smart, trust my coaches and stay humble.” – Kaytlin C. Neil
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father is currently a high school wrestling coach on Long Island, with more than 35 years of experience. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage has included the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, the 2013 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).
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