Kay Hansen says UFC debut was “surreal”, knows she can make a run to the title at strawweight

Kay Hansen
Image Credit: @UFC on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Kay Hansen is the youngest female on the UFC roster at just 20-years-old and is already 1-0 inside the Octagon.

Hansen recently made her UFC debut against Jinh Yu Frey, the former Invicta champion, where Hansen won by third-round armbar. Although it was her UFC debut, Hansen says she wasn’t nervous due to the fact everything was happening so fast.

“That is one of my theories because this is the fight I’ve been least nervous about,” Hansen said to BJPENN.com. “Everything happened so fast so I don’t think I was able to process everything. It was like the shortest but longest week of my life.”

In the fight, Frey won the first round, but Hansen was still confident. Then, in the second round, the Californian got the scrap to the ground and had a ton of success. So, Hansen knew to win the fight, all she needed to do was get one takedown in the third round, which is what happened.

“I had a lot of confidence after the first round even though I knew I lost it. I knew she had more experience and was a striker and there was no secret of what I wanted to do, and that was going to the ground,” she said. “But, after the second, I was super confident after getting the takedown. For me, in that third, I knew I only needed one takedown.”

When she got the fight to the ground, Kay Hansen was working on an armbar, then switched to an arm triangle and then went back to the armbar where she got the submission win. Why she decided to switch to the choke and then back to the armbar was simple.

Kay Hansen

“I feel like I had the arm pretty good but girls are really flexible. Her corner yelled for her to turn into me which opens up the triangle so I switched to that,” Hansen explained. “When I locked in the triangle, I knew I could finish it that way or the armbar. If neither one of those worked, I could just punch her.”

After her win, Hansen thought she might have had a chance at getting the Performance Bonus. Yet, after so many good finishes she didn’t know if she would get it until Mick Maynard sent her a text to let her know.

“I went back to the hotel room and I watched the rest of the fights with my boyfriend. He was like when do you find out if you get the 50k? I was thinking after my fight like that is worthy, then the card played out and I’m like there have been some good finishes, I don’t know if I’ll get it,” she said. “Mick Maynard texted me saying congrats on the win and he said I may have some more good news for you. It was a surreal moment like pinch me is this even real. Just the whole week was surreal.”

Following the win, Kay Hansen is hoping to remain active and fight again before the year is up. She says she doesn’t have a preference but knows she can make a run at the title in the stacked strawweight division.

“The strawweight division is so stacked with different skillsets and I want to test myself against the best of the best. The division runs deep so even unranked girls are tough. To get my first win in the division is awesome. People are always asking me if I will move up to flyweight. But, personally, I’d rather make a run at strawweight,” Kay Hansen concluded. “You see people going to 125 because there is an easier path to the title. For me, I want to get a title shot in the toughest division.”

Who do you think should be next for Kay Hansen?