UFC 205 in NYC - Meet Katlyn Chookagian
November 12 will be a huge day for martial artists and MMA fans across the globe as UFC 205 will be taking place for the very first time in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Prior to this MMA has been banned from New York City, but with recently passed laws it is finally here!
UFC 205 in NYC - Finally?
Many people argue MMA is not a sport, many see it as grotesque and animalistic. The time and dedication these athletes put into their sport tells otherwise, there is definitely an art to it. Fighters take their practices to the cage with precise movement and technique. Many of these athletes are experts in martial arts-- meet Katlyn Chookagian, 27 year old from Philadelphia now fighting out of New Jersey, started Karate at the young age of 4. Since then, she has been strengthening her martial art techniques through competing in Boxing and Kickboxing. In college she began Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and that is when she decided she wanted to fight MMA and integrate different martial art techniques.
A new generation of fighters
Katlyn has a professional MMA record of 8-0 (she is 1-0 in the UFC), brown belt in BJJ, and a stand up game you can’t deny. She is part of this new generation of fighters and has been invited back to fight in her very own backyard at Madison Square Garden. It is safe to say she has accomplished a lot in her career over the years. Katlyn’s biggest challenge has been believing in herself and her abilities. “My coaches have always told me how great they think I am and how good I am, but I wasn’t always as confident as them until recently. I think with more training and understanding the sport I’ve began to realize my full potential and that I most certainly will be a world champion.”
Focus on your mindset
We, #LoveSquad, are the everyday athletes, living a healthy and fit lifestyle, understand how important it is to condition our minds. We are big on meditation, positive affirmations, and digging deep inside ourselves to find happiness and confidence. Our health cannot be at its best if our mind is not at its best. So similar to professional athletes and their successes, Katlyn began to focus on her mindset the same way she focuses on her training. It was during this time she started to jump levels and become more confident in her abilities. She is always trying to surround herself with other people who are successful in their fields and most importantly be around positive people. She recommends to anyone trying to achieve anything in life to write down goals and an overall plan to help maintain that strong mindset, “I even write down goals for each sparring session, not just my long term goals. All of these little things in addition to training my butt off have helped me to get to where I am now.”
UFC 205 in NYC: leading up to the big day
Food is also an important part of training and MMA fighters often need to cut weight. The hardest part is finding the right fuel to get you through numerous training sessions leading up to the big day. Of course, every athlete is on a strict nutritional plan, but from experimenting with different diets she has finally discovered one that she can adjust to meet her needs. Katlyn does her best to follow a Ketogenic diet, which is a diet that consists of very low or almost zero carbs. She is not 100% keto and eats carbs depending on the difficulty of her session. With a more difficult training, on a 1-10 scale, if she has a session that is anywhere from 7-10 she will eat carbs such as oatmeal, quinoa, or sweet potatoes (a few of our favorite things!) She has been doing this diet now for a few months and has felt this has been giving her the most energy even while doing 15 training sessions per week!
It is safe to say that Katlyn is one bad mamma jamma, a strong and inspiring woman in a male-dominated sport. While keeping up with her training schedule and diet, she does her best to maintain her long beautiful blonde hair,“I keep my hair braided to try and prevent it from breaking during wrestling and BJJ as much as possible. I don’t like to put heat on it very often and if I am feeling fancy I put coconut oil in it for an hour then wash it.” She doesn’t have too many rituals, but she likes to have her hair braided in rows and paints her nails the same color (mint green) every fight.
Believe in your preparation
We can resonate with Katlyn’s lifestyle in our own lives. Just like her, we believe in ourselves, we think about the food we put into our bodies, our sweat sessions, and even hair. She demonstrates poise, discipline, and the work ethic of #LoveSquad. She has worked hard to be where she is today and being in the UFC is still surreal to her, she often forgets she is part of it! UFC may be the big show that fighters are working towards, but her main goal is to become a world champion and competing in the UFC just puts her one step closer to reaching that goal. Tune into UFC 205 and look out for Katlyn Chookagian. She’s excited to be part of this historic event in MMA and combat sports. But she is also excited to join her teammates Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez, two athletes she looks up to who are also on the same card.
A nice little reminder for us all- “Believe in your preparation,” a quote Katlyn sees on the walls of her wrestling gym “I really feel like if you do everything possible to train for a fight and know there is nothing else you could have done better than you will have the most confidence,” Katlyn explaining that believing in yourself can go a long way.