- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

MCALESTER, Okla. (AP) - Kaylen Duff works at the McAlester Tag Office, but in a recent conflict she used her fists to tag a Tulsa favorite in her backyard.

Duff, 21, of Krebs, is an amateur mixed martial arts fighter who recently won a three-round bout via unanimous decision against Tara McClure - also known as Tulsa Tara - in a bout at the River Sprit Casino in Tulsa.

“I didn’t feel angry at all,” Duff told the McAlester News-Capital (https://bit.ly/1Gsu3oc ).

The pugilist used her boxing technique in her first amateur appearance to dominate her opponent. The Krebs Killer landed haymakers on several occasions.

“I couldn’t get a knockout because I was so tired from losing a lot of weight for the fight,” Duff said.

Duff had to drop 11 pounds in two weeks to make her weight. The bruiser landed the opportunity to fight the jiu-jitsu champion McClure after another fighter dropped out.

Tough Duff or her corner didn’t know about the fight before then.

It was not a problem for the underdog.

“There were a lot of mistakes made, but she kept fighting,” said Duff’s coach David Bailey. “She controlled the fight. She went to work and did what she needed to do.

“She is one of the most promising females we have had,” Bailey said. “I wish everyone in the gym would work as hard as her.

“I think we have something special,” Bailey said.

Also in her corner were Fernando Torres, Michael Carney and Brandon Clement.

Duff said she started working out at Thunder Foot Bailey’s Gym in Krebs at the start of February - around the same time she started at the McAlester Tag Office.

“I really didn’t start out to do MMA,” Duff said. “I was doing it for the conditioning.”

But as she progressed in her training and started thinking about actually getting in the ring and fighting, she said she and her trainers wanted to aim for a late January fight. When the opportunity for her to fight a little more than a week ago came along, they decided to take the shot.

“I started learning the sport and I fell in love with it,” Duff said.

Duff said working at the tag office can be stressful, but her MMA training isn’t necessarily her escape. Duff said it is something she likes to do.

Duff is scheduled to fight again Jan. 24 at the Fort Smith Event Center.

She will be facing Stephanie Hull who has an amateur record of 21 according to her tapology webpage.


Information from: McAlester News-Capital, https://www.mcalesternews.com

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