Invicta FC 26’s Kay Hansen: The Sky’s the Limit

Kay Hansen, Invicta FC 26
Kay Hansen, Invicta FC 26 Credit: Dave Mandel, Invicta FC

Invicta FC’s Kay Hansen may be young, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t focused.

Earlier this month, Invicta FC 26 went down at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO. The final card of 2017 for Invicta, the event was topped by a flyweight title fight between Jennifer Maia and Agnieszka Niedzwiedz. At the other end of the card, however, promotional newcomer Kay Hansen opened the festivities against Emilee Prince. Securing a first round submission win via arm-bar (one of three arm-bar finishes on the night), it was a big debut for Hansen. At just eighteen years old, it was also her first professional fight.

Cageside Press followed up with Kay roughly a week after the bout, and got her thoughts on the win, turning pro at such a young age, and where she’s headed in 2018.

On starting her pro career while still in her teens, what was Hansen’s thought process in turning pro so quickly?

“I started training with the intention of fighting” Hansen said. “I hit the ground running when it came to MMA.”

“I fell in love and progressed pretty quickly” she explained. “I train with the best and have 100% confidence in my ability and dedication to get me where I need to be. I felt like going pro was the best option for me. I don’t want to waste time.”

Waste time she does not. After taking an amateur bout in September where she knocked out Cecilia Padilla at 1:43 of the very first round, Hansen took just 1:23 to lock in the arm-bar on Prince earlier this month. It’s a great result in a quick jump to the big stage — so how did Hansen come to sign with Invicta, which has become a popular destination for women in the sport?

“I hate taking time off. I’m trying to get back in the cage as soon as possible.”

“Ever since I started training I’ve had my sights on Invicta” Hansen told us. “I have known one of their match makers, Kaitlyn Young, since I first started training. My manager also has a good relationship with Shannon [Knapp] as well. Everything fell into place perfectly.”

So were there any surprises at Invicta FC 26? “I wasn’t surprised by my performance. I’m always going out there looking for a finish. I am a very aggressive fighter” she answered. “Invicta is amazing. They run everything so smooth and are so professional with everything. They take a lot of pride in their organization and it shows through all they do.”

Coming off such a big win, is Kay looking to take time off, or get right back into the thick of things? It’s the latter, she told us. “I hate taking time off. I’m trying to get back in the cage as soon as possible. I feel good and don’t want to stop.”

We asked Kay Hansen whether she had any role models coming into the sport — and a few big names came up. “Ronda Rousey was my gateway into my interest in WMMA” was her answer. “After I watched her I started watching other women like Cyborg. I was amazed and knew I had to do it. My first legit role model was Kaitlyn Young. I met her super early in my career and her hard work and talent inspired me.”

With that in mind, what’s a day in the gym like for Hansen? “Every day I am learning and improving. Whether I’m wrestling, striking, MMA sparring, or anything else I give 100% and improve every day.”

So what’s the goal for 2018 then? “I want to do whatever it takes to improve. I want
to fight as often as possible and improve as quick as possible” Hansen told us. With more opportunities than ever before opening up for women in the sport, is making it to the UFC then end game, or would Hansen consider competing elsewhere?

“My ultimate goal is to be the UFC Strawweight Champion. That is the ultimate goal and the
best accomplishment a fighter could have.”

Look for Kay Hansen to get back in the Invicta cage sometime next year.