Our sponsored athletes
Brianna "PitBull" Kristin
My Martial Art’s Journey
I have been involved in martial arts for 16 years. I initially wanted to become a dancer like my older sister, but then shortly realized Sandy Cheeks from Spongebob inspired me to start Karate. It’s funny admitting that to the public, but who knew a cartoon squirrel was going to be my motive for a lifelong career. I started Taekwondo at 6 years old, and I ranked up to my 3rd degree black belt. This included years of tournaments, assistant coaching, and later led to becoming a junior mentor, and was involved in an Olympic sparring team. I had partook in Hapkido classes for about 2 years, but then decided to focus on Taekwondo.
When I was 13, a family friend suggested I try out a Muay Thai. I was not familiar with Muay Thai, and I had never really watched MMA or boxing either, so this was a new experience for me. I loved Muay Thai, and 6 months later I began Jiu Jitsu and boxing to tie MMA all together. I fell in love with the new martial arts, and wanted a challenge, so I retired from Taekwondo at 15.
I competed in a handful of grappling tournaments in my early teenage years, but haven’t competed since I was 16. I had my first Muay thai fight at 15, and I am now a 3x national Muay Thai champion. I had my first MMA fight in September of 2019, and I have been fighting ever since. With 10 fights under my belt, I plan on continuing my amuter MMA career for a few more years so I can complete college before I make the commitment to become a professional athlete. I also completed 1 year of collegiate wrestling in my fourth year of college at Aurora University, I learned a lot from it and have been applying it into MMA. I have grown to love every martial art I have been involved in, and I am so thankful for the experiences, the relationships, and the confidence in myself that it has given me through the years.
Best piece of advice I have ever received:
The best advice I have ever received is a pretty cliche saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. I grew up learning this statement in school at a young age, but my mom was the one who really implemented this concept throughout my childhood. I am inspired by the way my mother carries herself, and the way she always cared for others first. She taught me to treat those around me with respect, and to always care for people. She always worked in healthcare, which I now am as well, and I have learned that caring for others, and respecting others will get you far in life. I truly believe many of the opportunities that have entered my life were due to the way I have always treated people around me. My mom has motivated me to be selfless, and help others no matter my own situation, and I am thankful for raising me to do the same.
Book I would gift someone:
I absolutely love autobiographies and biographies, so I have read many of the UFC fighter’s books because I am interested in these professional athletes' early lives. I don’t have a specific book I would gift to others because I have valued each book for different reasons. I have read:
Ronda Rousey, Cody Garbrandt, Chuck Lidell, and BJ Penn’s book.
These athletes all grew up with different backgrounds and different MMA journeys, and I would recommend these books to others.
Top Mount’s Importance To Me:
Top Mount is very special to me as an athlete, and as an individual. They were my first sponsors, and as a fighter, I am always seeking assistance to cover travel fees, gear, and gym memberships. During COVID like everyone else, I was out of training for a few months, so I worked extremely hard on finding sponsors, and Top Mount was the first business to see something in me. They have helped with more than just financial responsibilities. The Top Mount team has supported me during fight camps and training, through my college career, and helped me get through my own mental challenges. I am thankful to have Top Mount in my corner, and I am happy to represent them as one of their sponsored athletes. They really emphasized the term “REGARDLESS”, and I have applied this term to my everyday life as an athlete. I have prioritized being an athlete regardless of school, work, and my personal life. Regardless of how hard school was, regardless of my schedule, regardless of family and friends, regardless of injuries, I have always figured out a way to do what I love. Having the Top Mount family there to encourage me to do better and be better, I know I will always have them as supportive sponsors REGARDLESS.