UFC: Yana Kunitskaya plans return to Bantamweight after UFC 222 loss

After suffering a loss to Cris Cyborg at UFC 222, Yana Kunitskaya is eager to bounce back.

The main event fight against Cyborg marked the Russian’s debut in the UFC. Kunitskaya had taken the fight against Cyborg on short notice after the original UFC 222 Main event between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar was called off due to an injury that Holloway suffered. After enjoying a good start in the fight, Kunitskaya succumbed to the pressure of Cyborg and conceded a first-round TKO defeat.

Kunitskaya in action against Cyborg (PC: MMA Junkie)

In a post-fight interview with MMA Junkie; Kunitskaya revealed that she was nervous during the whole debacle.

“It was a weird experience. I was so nervous, and I hope to come back as fast as I can. It’s why I’m so sad because I feel I can control this fight at some points. But what happened, everyone saw,” she said.

Before her venture into the UFC, Kunitskaya had captured the Invicta Bantamweight Championship by defeating Raquel Pa’aluhi. And it was apparently this win that landed her the short notice title fight against Cris Cyborg.

In order to fight for the title, Kunitskaya had to move up to Featherweight. Her last fight in the weight class prior to UFC 222 happened in 2012. Now that her return to Featherweight turned into a forgettable affair, Kunitskaya is looking to drop back to Bantamweight.

“Yeah, I will come back to 135,” Kunitskaya said.

Huge pay-day

Despite the defeat, the Russian has reasons to be happy about. She earned a huge pay-day at the event as she went home with a disclosed purse of $100,000 which is very high compared to her recent outings in Invicta Fighting Championships.

Also, the title fight with Cyborg was only her first fight in the UFC and the promotion is likely to offer her more fights in the coming months. The 28-year-old currently holds a professional record of 10-4 to her name and still have many more years in her career.

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Renjith Ravindran

An engineer by luck and a sports writer by passion, Renjith has been covering various sports for almost half a decade. He has received praise from the likes of WWE superstars Paul Heyman and Natalya for his work and has also interviewed some notable names from the business. He is constantly looking out for creative challenges that excite him and finds beauty in the art of Combat Sports.

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