Katlyn Chookagian (@blondefighter) is a UFC fighter with a record of 14-3. She fought for the UFC Flyweight title back in February. When Katlyn says that she felt like she belonged there from the very beginning, you can tell that she means it. And I don’t doubt that she will fight for that belt again.
Chookagian started training in karate when she was just four years old, after attending her brother’s classes and itching to get on the mat. And she took to it like a maniac. She spent every minute she could training like a girl possessed. And unlike the karate school I attended as a kid, she was sparring and training in full combat martial arts. She even began learning grappling skills at a young age, before ju jitsu was as mainstream as it is today. By the time Katlyn was in high school, she was fighting in Golden Gloves boxing and kickboxing competitions.
When she first saw Ronda Rousey fighting in the UFC, she knew that she could do that too. And soon she switched gyms and started fighting MMA. But it wasn’t even a huge jump for Katlyn, who had been competing in martial arts for almost her whole life. And she after a string of wins, she got a call from the UFC. And it was only a matter of time before she would fight for the title.
In this episode we discuss what it was like fighting in an empty area in her most recent fight. And what it was like fighting both Valentina and Antonia Shevchenko back to back. We talked about how she was able to train at home during the quarantine. Katlyn explains how she got the nickname Blondefighter from an early Instagram handle. And how it felt when Joe Rogan dissed it during her UFC debut. And the lessons she’s learned training around Frankie Edgar over the years.
Katlyn has so many great stories from fighting over the years and it was so great talking to her on this episode!