Though she heads into her first fight of 2018 with four victories under her belt, bantamweight prospect Shanna Young hasn’t actually had a bout since 2016.
After a strong start to her career, Young has spent the past two years recovering from a hip injury that not only sidelined her from fighting, but possibly could have ended her career altogether.
“After my first surgery when I realized that I re-tore the labrum in my hip, there was a time where the doctors were telling me that I didn’t need to be doing this, listed a bunch of things I could never do again, that I shouldn’t be fighting,” Young told MMAWeekly.com. “They just laid it on me really hard.
“I took it home and dwelled on it for a couple days and I realized I have amazing coaches and awesome people I surround myself with at the gym that are really encouraging, so after a week I was over it and knew I would be back.”
Though she’s gotten back to training and is ready to return to fighting, Young isn’t 100-percent certain of the type of fighter she’ll be now compared to when she last fought two years ago.
“It’s hard to tell,” said Young. “Over the course of my first four fights my style changed a lot. Coming back there’s some things I noticed I don’t do much anymore, and there are a couple things that are different. It’s hard to tell really.”
For her first fight back, Young (4-0) goes up against debuting Jenifer Hauss Nixon (0-0) in a 135-pound feature bout at Valor 50 on Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“I haven’t done a lot of research on my opponent,” Young said. “Honestly, it’s not a big deal to me. I don’t normally do a lot of research. I let my coaches do the research and they’ll tell me what to do. I have faith in that, and it’s going to be a good fight.
“I do have a couple more fights under my belt (than Nixon), but it’s been a couple of years, so it feels like I’m just getting back into the cage, but at the same time it’s a little scary and a little different.”
Having just returned to fighting after a long layoff, Young is looking to take things slowly over the course of this year and see how she handles being back.
“We’re going to go with this first one and see how my hip holds up, how my body holds up and how I react mentally and emotionally, and then we’ll go from there,” said Young.