Kaitlin Young’s opponent may have changed; but, that does not mean the stakes for her are any less.
Young, the 2007 HOOKnSHOOT Grand Prix champion who makes her return to the cage at Invicta FC 5, was originally scheduled to face UFC newcomer Amanda Nunes. According to a report by MMARising.com, Nunes pulled out of the fight after she fell victim to an arm injury. Unbeaten prospect Lauren Taylor has now stepped-up to face the HOOKnSHOOT champion, April 5.
While Nunes may be out, that does not mean Taylor is any less dangerous of an opponent. This is a classic established star vs. up-and-comer match-up.
Taylor is riding a five fight winning streak, all of which have been by TKO. She has displayed some good striking and currently trains at the Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu – which she could work into a vicious ground and pound if she can get Young on the canvas.
Even though Taylor is unbeaten in her mixed martial arts career, Young still has what it takes to win the fight. She has excellent striking, particularly with her kicks. She also has an advantage when it comes to experience – not only in the caliber of opponents, but also in size of promotions.
Commentator Joe Rogan talks about “octagon shock” affecting fighters who make their debut in the UFC, only to be overcome with the pressure of competing on such a big stage. Although she has won regional championships, Taylor could be affected by the same type of pressure of competing on what is perhaps the biggest stage in women’s MMA.
Young can also withstand a lot of punishment as we saw in her bouts with Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith and Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in 2012. She will also going to be looking to get her career back on track. The HOOKnSHOOT champion was 0-2-1 in her last three fights. A win for Young would be the first step of climbing back to the top.
For Young, facing Nunes may have given her a chance to show the UFC brass that she could stand with the best women’s fighters in the world. She may still get that chance as Zuffa officials could be watching Sarah Kaufman, who recently signed with the UFC, take on The Peacemaker.
An impressive showing for Young, who has been able to awe the crowd on multiple occasions, could result in a trip to the UFC.
How do you think Young will do in her fight against Taylor? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover