Siblings fight. That is pretty much the norm. The Klinefelter sisters, however, use that energy to train each other as fighters.
Katy and Emily Klinefelter started out in the boxing ring, as Katy was trying to find a new sport to train in. At age 13, Katy felt that gymnastics has run it course, trying a lot of sports before settling into boxing.
“I tried track and field, diving, volleyball, and I didn’t really like any of those,” Katy admitted. “Then I stumbled upon boxing.”
Katy’s older sister Emily would give her rides to the gym, but soon found herself trying her hand at boxing.
“Neither of us knew anything about boxing,” Emily stated. “We had never watched a boxing match on TV. We didn’t even know amateur boxing existed. We really didn’t know what we were going. I though we were just going to get a workout.”
“We copied what the guys did. First we saw the guys sparing, then we said ‘okay we will get into there and spar.’ Then the guys started having fights, and then we had fights, then one thing lead to the next, which ended up with an extensive amateur and pro career.”
The sisters have won state, regional, and national titles, and even traveled around the world for fights; gaining both of them impressive boxing records. As fights started to dry up in the boxing ring, the sisters soon looked into getting into MMA. It wasn’t long before promoters came knocking on their door.
“Maxx Fights Des Moines came looking for us,” Emily acknowledged. “In boxing, we had to literally beg to be put on the show. It was really difficult. So the fact that someone was actually asking for us rather than us asking them was really nice.”
Katy and Emily have been training with the Hawkeye jiu-jitsu club to improve their ground game. Katy says there are advantages coming from a boxing background.
“We boxed for so long that getting punched or getting hit doesn’t really affect us the same way it would a person in their first week. Although we have a lot to learn still, we’re able to learn and getting hit doesn’t set us back.”
Emily just won her first pro MMA fight, and talked about some of the difficulties she had to overcome in a cage verses a boxing ring.
“The biggest adjustment is the clinch to me. In boxing, I have an aggressive style, and I like to get up in people’s face; work the inside and work the body. In MMA, that strategy doesn’t work too well, because you can get tied up and get taken down more easily. That has been the biggest challenge for me.”
For the Klinefelter sisters, they see MMA as a way to improve themselves and push forward.
“I have never been the person to set a goal and say ‘I want to win a world championship.’” Katy said. “It’s more like I want to push it and see how far I go. Whatever that is, I don’t know. I always want to push the limits and see what else I can accomplish.”