Kaytlin “Katniss” Neil

Hoopes Vision Patient Spotlight

I was pretty nervous about having surgery on my eyes because, well, they’re my eyes! But I felt like I was in good hands at Hoopes Vision! Dr. Hoopes was really friendly and he made feel comfortable and relaxed. The surgery was fast, simple, and not painful at all. I had PRK and the recovery was easy; it was just a matter of remembering to use my drops!

Having PRK was one of the best decisions I ever made. Sometimes I just sit back and think, “Wow, I can see everything with MY eyes, not through contacts or glasses.” After getting the surgery, I felt free! I don’t have to worry about not being able to see or losing a contact when I swim.

I am also an MMA fighter, and my first fight since my vision correction surgery was in January. I was so happy to look out at the crowd and actually be able to see all of the friends and family who came to support me. I felt more comfortable than I ever had before during warm-up and walking to the cage because I could see everything that was happening so clearly. I am so grateful I had PRK, and got the results I did. It was one less thing I had to worry about in my fight and it made a world of difference – and yes, I won!

Kaytlin Neil
MMA Fighter

Video Kaytlin's Story

Behind the Scenes

The Interview – Set up




Getting the right shots








Kaytlin is a MMA fighter, fitness buff and personal trainer. She studied at Utah Valley University and recently graduated with a bachelors in Health Education. Kaytlin brings brains, beauty, and a dominant fight style to the scene of women’s mixed martial arts. Here are a some interesting things about our favorite MMA fighter.

Q&A with Kaytlin

How did you get involved in MMA?

My friends took me to some MMA fights my first year of college. I thought it looked cool, so I started training.

How was your first sparring experience?

In my early experience I thought I was a rock-star until I sparred for the first time and got punched in the face. I went home bawling after practice that day and had second thoughts about my love for the sport, but sucked it up and went back to practice the next day.

At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?

Before I did an MMA fight my coaches had me do a few grappling tournaments and two muay thai fights. I asked my coach before my second muay thai fight that if I won my fight if I could finally do an MMA fight, things went well and then I stepped into the cage.

What are some things you've learned while being involved in this sport?

1-Anything can happened at anytime in any fight.

2-Humility is a must.

3-No one deserves to beat you.

4-You are never done learning.

How did you get your nickname "Katniss"?

During my first year of college when the Hunger Games books were popular, my friends said I acted like Katniss because I would kind of just run around and do whatever I wanted.  They called me Katnip (Katniss’ nickname in the book). Then when the movie came out I actually looked like Katniss, so it was settled.

What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?

Winning my first MMA fight.

What are you thinking about while fighting?

Half of the time I am fighting, the most ridiculous thoughts are going through my head.  Most the time, they have absolutely nothing to do with fighting.  Like what I am going to eat after, if my outfit looks ok, or what my mom is thinking, etc. . .

If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?

Stick with it.

Best day of your life:

Everyday I’m alive.