Kay Hansen has had quite the journey for only being 18 years old. While most people that age are just starting out college and trying to figure out the world, Hansen has already competed on one of the biggest stages of women’s MMA. MMASucka was fortune enough to speak to the Invicta rising star.
Kay Hansen: Invicta’s Young Rising Star
Though only 18 years old, Hansen has quite the experience in the world of martial arts and MMA. She began her training around the age of 16. Prior to turning 18, Hansen competed in four Pankration Youth Fights matchups, winning all four. Hansen was training at Combat Submission Wrestling under the tutelage of CSW founder Erik Paulson. Paulson is renowned for his training working with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Josh Barnett, and many more.
“I knew I wanted to fight when I watched Ronda vs. Bethe,” Hansen said to MMASucka. “It wasn’t even the fight itself but I remember watching them walk out and thinking what a feeling that must be. I knew I wanted to be champion before I ever stepped on the mat.”
Hansen also credits her father as being very instrumental in your mental growth as an MMA fighter. “I’ve had a few coaches and as much as they have helped me develop as a fighter, I feel like my dad has been the major contributor. A lot of coaches like to teach you technique and drills, but few really teach you how to fight. At the end of the day, you gotta go in the cage and be a fighter and to do that you have to have a certain mentality. Right now I’m at a place where I have the absolute best coaches and team that I’ve built around me to help me succeed and grow as a fighter. And I’m very thankful for these people.”
Hansen’s continued growth has also come with a purple belt under famed fifth-degree black belt Cleber Luciano from Huntington Beach, CA. Hansen has also competed in countless grappling tournaments, as well as an amateur and pro boxing career. All of this experience paid off, aiding her in winning her only amateur MMA bout by first-round TKO. She took on this bout less than six weeks after turning 18 years old.
Less than three months after making her amateur debut, Hansen turned pro and took on her first professional bout on one of the biggest stages for women’s MMA, Invicta FC. Her first bout was against Emilee Prince at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz via first-round armbar. Hansen pressed the pace early and scored a few takedowns before transitioning to a quick armbar. With that victory, Hansen became the youngest fighter ever to earn an Invicta win at the age of 18 years, 3 months, and 7 days.
In Hansen’s second bout at Invicta FC 28: Mizuki vs. Jandiroba, she took on United States Marine Corp veteran Kalyn “.50 Kal” Schwartz. The bout did not go as planned. Hansen sustained a deep cut to the temple from an elbow eventually leading to a loss.
Despite her age, Hansen seems to be handling the defeat as a learning experience. She is more than ready to get back into the cage. Look for the strawweight to continue her ascent up the ranks to become a top-level competitor in women’s MMA. Hansen has posted on Twitter that she would be interested in fighting at Invicta 30. Hopefully, this comes to fruition and we can continue to watch the growth of Hansen.