Undefeated, 1-0 Kelly "Killer" McGill is another recent signee to Invicta Fighting Championships and is set to face Maegan Goodwin on November 1st, 2014. Kelly began her professional career with a TKO victory over Leslie Rodriguez in just over a minute and a half in the first round at Tachi Palace Palace fights before signing with Invicta. Kelly has aspirations to become the Invicta Bantamweight champion in the near future and is letting nothing stand in her way… she wants to have fun, achieve success, and leave a positive impact in the WMMA community, and MMA in general. Let's learn a bit more about this impressive Fighter on the Rise, below!
Photography provided by What If Photography
Action Images taken by Cali Fights (Marcial Marmolejo)
Photographer information can be viewed at the end of the Q&A
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends)
I was born in Santa Clara, CA and lived in San Jose the first 5 years of my life before moving to the current town I live in, Modesto, CA. When I was younger I spent majority of my time with my grandparents while my parents were at work which was a blast, some of my favorite memories are with my grandparents. Once moving to Modesto I started Kindergarten and had my first real interaction with other children. I grew up on a very loving and family orientated family. My whole family, especially my parents, are so supportive and encouraging of everything I do. I have truly been blessed with a great family.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I did dance for a few years when I was younger, besides that, I was more of a homebody.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
Hmm…. Like I said I grew up with an amazing family, so I have a lot of great memories. If I had to pick one I would have to say visiting my grandparents in San Jose once I moved to Modesto. My grandmother doesn't drive so we had to take the bus or train everywhere we went which as a kid, I thought was the coolest thing ever, especially when I got to pull the little handle to let the driver know to stop. Haha. It may not seem like much, but for some reason when I think of my childhood that is the first thing that comes to mind.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
One day I walked into the living room and saw my dad watch a WEC fight event. I had never seen anything like MMA or even heard about it before. I jokingly said "I could do that." and I specifically remember my dad saying, "Yeah right." Once he said that I wanted to prove him wrong and insisted I do a class. My parents thought I was too girly and just messing around. After a year of begging to sign me up, my parents enrolled me in a jiu jitsu class and it all started from there.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
Before starting MMA I had already done competiveness dance so I was fully aware of the competition aspect, having respect for the teacher, and sportsmanship aspect. I feel like MMA not only showed me to be disciple in my sport, but in a day to day life whether it is respecting people, realizing somebody may be better than you, and being gracious in defeat. Most of all MMA has taught me patience. I can't even count how many times I've cried at the gym for doing a move wrong or not understanding something, still to this day that happens when I have a bad practice. MMA arts has taught me to not be so hard on myself and that practice is key to everything.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I am a pretty competitive person so once I started competing in tournaments and sparing I knew I wanted to fight. I had already two years experience in strictly jiu jitsu before I started stand up. About a year after I started stand up I felt like I was ready but I could still use more work, considering I was only 16 years old. After I got better, my coach and I decided I was ready to fight, so at 17 years old I had my first fight!
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
My first fight is a complete blur. Haha. I think my adrenaline was going so much I kind of blacked out because I don't remember anything. All I really remember is walking out and hearing my family screaming and giving my nephew a kiss and after that I don't remember anything until my hand was being raised. I was extremely nervous and I really didn't know what to expect for my first fight. I ended up winning my first fight by a 7 seconds TKO.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
This sport has taught me so much. It has taught me to have confidence in myself. It has given me a huge amount of respect for other people. Most of all it has taught me to work hard for everything and anything I want in life.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
I train out of Oakdale MMA Last Stand Fight Team
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
Professional record 1-0 and I fight at Bantamweight(135 pounds)
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
My nickname is "Killer." It flows well with my name.
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
I believe their is always room for improvement, but if I could pick one thing, it would have to be wrestling. I would definitely like my wrestling to be a lot better and for me to actually enjoy wrestling. Haha.
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
My most memorable experience is definitely getting a call from Shannon Knapp saying she wanted to sign me to Invicta FC. I was driving home from practice and I see her name light up on my phone and she asks for my managers number because she wants to sign me. After I hung up the phone I broke out into tears of joy. That moment was definitely one of the best moments of my life for the fact that I didn't beg for it, I earned it. It was a dream come true to be given this opportunity.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
My second amateur fight was supposed to be at 135 pounds. The day before weigh ins my opponent pulled out. Luckily, they found me another opponent, but unfortunately the fight was at 125 pounds. So in 24 hours, I dropped the 10 pounds and made weight at 125. It was a terrible experience, but definitely one I'll never forget.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
One piece of advice I'd give is to not give up. Times are going to get tough, you are going to get beat up, eventually you will lose, you will have terrible practices, you will want to give up, my advice is don't give up. For every low their is a high. You are going to beat people up, you are going to win, you will get that move right eventually, most of all, you will be happy you didn't quit. My coach Tom Theofanopoulos always says "Success comes from doing the boring things often." If you want to be the best that is what it takes.
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
I'd like to thank everybody at Oakdale, Sonora, Merced MMA for helping me come this far. Thank you to Full Force Personal Training in Modesto for getting me strong and ready for every fight. Thank you to Dragon Do Fight Gear for being so supportive. Thank you to my head coach Tom Theofanopoulos for always believing in me. Thank you to my boyfriend / coach Rolando Velasco for helping me out with literally everything. Thank you to my mom and dad/manager for always supporting me and encouraging me.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
My goals aren't different from any other fighters at all, to be the best. I hope to someday be Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion. Most importantly I hope to leave a positive impact on the sport.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
I'm extremely happy WMMA is finally getting the recognition it deserves. I think it's only going to get bigger and better from here for WMMA.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the sport it would be to have girls stop posing inappropriately to promote themselves. I understand it is a business and that attracts money, but I want WMMA to be taken seriously and I'm afraid many people do not because of how some of these girls market themselves.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I see myself being ranked number one in the world.
Pizza! Pizza is definitely the hardest thing for me to give up during a fight camp
Favorite type of Music:
I'm not too picky about music, but I do prefer something more soft.
I'm definitely you average girly girl when it comes to movies. Anything by Nicholas Sparks or Disney is good to me.
Favorite TV Show:
I love Total Divas.
"Hard work beats talent when talent isn't working hard."
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
I don't have any children at the moment. I do plan on having children sometime in the future.
Best day of your life:
Besides getting signed to Invicta FC, I would have to say my nephews being born. Those little boys mean the world to me and they have been such a blessing to my family and I.
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
When I was little, probably around three years old until five years old, I use to be terrified of the grocery store floors. I use to think the reflection of the lights on the floor was a trap and I'd fall in through them. My parents use to have to carry me or put me in the cart otherwise I'd cry. Haha. This is something my family has never let me live down.
Besides school, work and training I don't really do much. I really enjoy spending time with my family and boyfriend when I do get free time.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
I don't really watch super hero movies, but I would have to say Batman is my favorite, otherwise my boyfriend will probably disown me. Haha.
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Kelly McGill
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries): Devin McGill. Reach him at; email@example.com
About the Photographers
Photography provided by What If Photography
Hair and Makeup done by Autumn Avila
Cali Fights Magazine is a premire online publication on the verge of becoming a physical publication by the year's end. We cover top amateur and professional combat sports events throughout the entire state of California as well as surrounding states: Arizona and Nevada. Cali Fights Magazine prides itself in publishing photos of the entire event; never omiting the undercard or debuting matches. For more information or to find out how you can have us at your event, please contact Chief Photographic Editor, Marcial Marmolejo, at firstname.lastname@example.org