Ep. #86 – Kaytlin Neil

Kaytlin Neil is a professional mixed martial artist who most recently competed as a Flyweight for LFA. She is also a personal trainer who owns and operates Bad Athletics where you can purchase supplements, fitness gear, and fitness programs.


Kaytlin Neil: So how have you been throughout the uh throughout the pandemic, like the whole world’s going nuts right now? So how have you been holding up? You know i’ve been pretty decent until i tore my acl and then it kind of went a little downhill from there, but that really had nothing to do with the pandemic. It was more just like my acl, so that was i guess. It’S probably like the best time to get injured, though, because everything’s like at a standstill, so if you’re gon na get injured, i think this is probably the best time to do it. However, you would think that, but people are getting signed into the ufc so easily right now, because they need people short notice and i’m right here in vegas. So it’s like kind of a bummer. How is it overall how’s the knee um? How long of a you know how long you’re gon na be on the sidelines for um? So i tore my meniscus last september and i was out for nine months and then a week before i was approved to go all the gyms shut down and i was like. Are you kidding me and then, by the time all the gyms uh open back up? I probably got a good month of solid training in and then i tore my acl and so now, i’m a month out of surgery until i still have eight more months until i can get back in the gym. Oh, that’s! That’S uh! That’S brutal timing! I mean back to back. Injuries is always rough. You had a you had a decent or a good fight last time out it didn’t go your way. I guess what was your thoughts on the the scorecards i mean, there’s such a big difference between five and three and four and four um, so it was really really close fight. What what was your thoughts on on the fight and is there any regrets anything? You would have done differently yeah. I definitely have a ton of regrets from that fight. I so i went on a little streak where i fought every other month, and so i think by that fourth fight i was just burnt out and i um just didn’t, really want to be there anymore, and so i don’t think the girl was technically better than Me i just did i wasn’t that aggressive? I didn’t throw that much, and so it really kind of like losses like that really eats you up inside, because the person didn’t win you or beat you because they’re better, they just won because they did a little more. So that really kind of not fun, especially then getting injured and being having to sit out for two years after that, it’s like kind of fuels, my blood to never like have that feeling again, because i think i almost took it for granted that i could fight Every other month and so having to sit out for two years, i’m like never gon na, take that opportunity for granted again it’s knowing that. Now i mean what sorts of lessons are you gon na apply for your next fight in the fight after that, like you’re gon na rush? It are you gon na, take your time and try to get the right fight. I know i know a lot of people like to stay extremely busy um they just don’t like getting out of camp um other fighters like the the time off. I guess so so what sorts of uh adjustments are you gon na make going forward um? So i think we’re gon na pick my next fight pretty carefully because i’m on the brink of hopefully making it into the ufc and so we’re going to choose my next opponents really carefully it’ll be on lfa um, more likely than not. So it should still be a pretty big fight, but yeah we’re i’m gon na ease into it, and i don’t want to rush things because i don’t want to tear my acl again. That’S a really high or that’s a really big risk when athletes rush back into training too quickly. So i’m going to take my time. I probably won’t fight for another 11 months, but i know i’ll be ready. How did you, how did you find it like? Was it just like how did it happen? Was it like a snap? Was it just a weird feeling what how did you? How did you know you tore it? Okay, so it was the last round of the day, and i didn’t even want to do this last round and roxanne mata fairy comes up and she’s like hey. You want to go this last round, we’ll just go light and i was like you’re so nice. Yes, of course i will go with you and then um i like it. It was like a nice and easy round it like was nothing too intense and then i just stepped to the right, and then it almost felt like my knee, like slid side to side, and then i just fell to the mat and uh. I was like. Oh shoot, i’m like this didn’t feel like i tore my meniscus like because i was used to that feeling. I’M like i don’t know what this was. Hopefully it was just like a sprain or whatever, and then it was an acl so really big summer. I guess that’s why you don’t do one last round with one of the uh, the baddest women on the planet, eight top ten in the world, so yep. I want to take a trip down memory lane i mean you did not have the the greatest. I guess of starts on paper to your mma career. I mean you opened up one and three then got a nice little win streak going at that point. Like you see so many fighters who start off their career um like that, and then they end up just saying you know what i’m done. Did that cross your mind? Was there a point where you’re like? Maybe this isn’t for me and and if so, how did you continue and how did you find the the motivation to keep going yeah? So i think my first five fights i ever took. I was undefeated as an amateur and then um. I lost a couple on a reservation, but they didn’t really count on my record. So technically, i’m like undefeated as an amateur and then i go into the professional world and i lose my first two fights. I fall like headfirst into a fight on bellator and i win and then i fight on a victim. Then i lose, and so it was like kind of just this whirlwind of like am i good? Am i not good? Do i deserve to be here? Do i deserve to call myself a professional fighter and it’s kind of more like embarrassing, because um, i feel like a lot of people. Don’T take me seriously because i like have eyelash extensions. I curl my hair. Like i um, i don’t know i feel like. I still have like that really girly girl side of me, and so it was kind of like more embarrassing, trying to call myself a professional fighter, but being one in three people like what what is she talking about? She should just quit, but like obviously the thought to quit did cross my mind, but it was never like something that i would ever do. I’M like i committed to this. I’M gon na. Do i’m gon na push forward um, and luckily i did because then i went and flipped that around and went three and one in my last four and that one was a split decision, so it was kind of uh. It was a character building experience. I would say i want to elaborate on that point a little bit um. You know, i think a lot of people look at women. Martial arts in general is sort of that. Like you, you hear girls like valerie loreta, paige van zandt, talk about how people don’t take them seriously and then rose number eunice just was like all right screw it. I’M shaving my my head. So how do you? How do you kind of change the narrative and almost be taken seriously and and leaving all that aside, because you are a professional fighter um, you know eyelash extensions and all that aside um. So how do you change the narrative and say you know what we are women, but we are here, uh take us seriously, yeah um, i don’t know, i think you just kind of have to go out there and like not care what people say and just kind Of fight like i think women’s mma are some of the most exciting fights on the card nowadays like especially that yowanna versus the champ, like that was an insane fight and i think, we’re kind of just showing that, like women, uh belong there and that it’s like. Okay to wear a dress or we’re healed or like get dressed up, but it’s also like okay to go and beat the crap out of each other, and i don’t feel like uh, i’m like forging any roads or anything like obviously, ronda rousey was very good. Looking misha tate, like there’s, been plenty of female fighters that have gone before me that, like are have been taken seriously, even though they are very feminine. That being said, how did you, how did you find the sport? I mean you hear so many of the other people talk about their wrestling background, karate background. What was it that got that got you into the sport yeah um? So i grew up doing dance, gymnastics and cheerleading and i had two older sisters, so i never fought. I never got into any street fights. I grew up in the middle of utah county, which is one of like the safest areas in the world and so um. It was kind of random that my friends took me to some mma fights my first year of college and i didn’t make the cheer team, the college, cheer team, and so i knew i wanted to stay competitive. But i didn’t know exactly what i wanted to do. Then after my friends took me to that fight, there was one uh woman fight on the card and i was like i’m gon na. Do that and then obviously nobody took me seriously, but i found a gym. I started training and it’s been nine years now. So it’s kind of how it happened. Yeah yeah, i mean jasmine. Just a vicious said the same thing she’s like i went to fights and uh. I ended up watching two girls fighting. I said i’m gon na do that and i mean she’s she’s, one of the best fighters outside of the ufc, who i think she should be signed um. So i mean you hear so many stories of people like that. I got into it from rampage jackson going going crazy and i was like i can relate to that guy um. I want to talk about some of the upcoming fights. I’M sure you stay um. You know you watch fights and uh keep up to date with the ufc so that dominic reyes fight um. What’S your prediction for that fight, um, i i i don’t know who he’s fighting or what about that fight? I follow mainly a lot of the women’s fights but uh yeah, so i wish i could give you a prediction, but i don’t. I can’t all right that being said, what’s your who’s, your who do, you think, is the best female fighter of all time. I mean you hear gina carano’s name, you hear ronda rousey chris cyborg amanda nunes. As someone who watches female fights and as a female fighter who do you have as number one of all time. That’S really hard. Um, i’ve never actually watched any of dorina or gina carano’s fights but uh, i would have to say amanda nunes i mean she looks like she’s pretty scary. She knocked out run around she knocked out chris cyborg. So i don’t think there’s anything any other female fighter has a leg to stand on to say that they’re, the greatest of all time, so i’m gon na, have to give it to amanda as someone who’s uh can’t compete right now. What what’s your thoughts on events such as the ufc and bellator, putting on events in front of an empty arena? Even though there’s like the pandemic and all this other stuff going on they’ve gotten a lot of negative attention? But as someone who i’m sure it’s dying to get in the cage, what’s your opinion on the whole thing um, i think it’s completely badass, i’m super supportive of it and i am like proud to call myself an mma fighter because they’re doing that, like they found A way around the system – i don’t think i don’t know, i don’t. I have mixed feelings about this whole pandemic theme, and so i’m just glad that dfc found a way to make it happen, make it happen safely and then give everybody some entertainment and some like positive things to look forward to during this pandemic. I want to talk a little bit about stuff outside of mixed martial arts. You, despite being injured, you do have your own business and you’re actively promoting it. So talk a little bit about bad athletics and and why you founded it yeah. So i started bad athletics because i know a lot of the fitness industry. Just forces uh things down women’s throat that i think are very toxic for them and how they look at themselves like they tell them that they need to work out. So they can look a certain way, so they can have like a bikini body or so that they can get a man or whatever, and i want to take all that bull crap away like and bring it back to what it’s like meant to be, and so Bad athletics, um. What we’re trying to do is to help women um, build up their athleticism and focus more on their how their body’s functioning and how they’re fueling it. How they’re feeling and kind of bring back health and fitness to what it actually is for, and that’s for your health and fitness not to look good so yeah, that’s kind of why i started it and then with that um. If you don’t know what bad athletics is, we have, or i have a workout challenge, and then we have a meal plan with that, and then we sell supplements through the meal plan and we also have some like gear and apparel that go along with it. One of those flavors is strawberry and as someone who absolutely loves strawberry, i was so happy when i saw that came out. I was like. Oh my god. I want to try this. I’M tired of this is vanilla. It sounds vanilla’s disgusting, so it’s nice to see that that came out um. How has the pandemic affected it, like i feel like? Is it booming? Is it you know, has it kind of gone stagnant with people getting lazy like how’s, it how’s the orders been and how has uh the success been? Given everything that’s going on so starting the month of march, we had our biggest month ever and then ever since then, we’ve been having our biggest month ever month over month, and so we just barely ended out our biggest month ever again and um. It’S august 1st. Today so for september, so it’s been awesome. I think i don’t know what it is, but maybe people are just staying home, so they need a workout challenge that they can do at their house or they’re just purchasing stuff online. A little bit more. I don’t know what it is, but it’s been awesome for our business, so i’ve actually been happy about that. How is how is networking abroad? I mean i’ve always wanted to start something of my own, but the one thing was like. I don’t think atlanta. Canada really has a market for what i want to promote. So how did you market it abroad and make it really global yeah? So i’m lucky to have a really awesome business partner who has built a supplement company from the ground up before and sold it for millions, and so he has kind of helped me and like showed me the way i guess, and so i think together we can Kind of like do some pretty big things, he’s an awesome, marketer, um and yeah. So it’s not necessarily me. I kind of just do the things that he tells me to do and it kind of just makes a good team. Thank you very much for the time i mean i’ve wanted to try some of your stuff, so i’m gon na have to place an order on it, um and hopefully that knee gets better, and hopefully we can do this again when there’s a fight camp or post Fight or something something more exciting than a tornad uh, you know torn leg, so, let’s uh, let’s do this again sometime, but until then, all the best um hope your leg recovers and best of luck with bad athletics. All right. Thank you. Thanks for having me on here – and i wish you the best of luck too

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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