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Katlyn Chookagian continues to hover near the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s flyweight division, even as talented prospects and proven veterans rise to meet her.
“Blonde Fighter” will face Cerrado MMA standout Viviane Araujo in a 125-pound showcase at UFC 262 on Saturday inside the Toyota Center in Houston. Chookagian, 32, has compiled an 8-4 record inside the Octagon. She last appeared at UFC 255, where she rebounded from a knockout loss to Jessica Andrade with a three-round unanimous decision over Cynthia Calvillo on Nov. 21. The Pennsylvania native still has never suffered back-to-back defeats as a professional.
As Chookagian prepares for her confrontation with the surging Araujo, here are five things you might not know about her:
1. Small-town America served as her springboard.
Chookagian was born in Quakertown, Pennsylvania—a small borough of roughly 9,000 people some 50 miles north of Philadelphia. She graduated from Quakertown Community Senior High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey.
2. She has a championship pedigree.
The Renzo Gracie protege was a two-division titleholder in Cage Fury Fighting Championships, where she captured gold at 125 and 135 pounds. Chookagian won the women’s flyweight title with a five-round unanimous decision over Isabelly Varela at CFFC 55 on Jan. 9, 2016 and captured the women’s bantamweight crown with a first-round knockout of Stephanie Bragayrac at CFFC 57 on March 19, 2016.
3. Stability has marked her time as a mixed martial artist.
Chookagian has only competed in four promotions during her 19-fight career: CFFC, World Series of Fighting, Premium MMA Liga and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She was a perfect 7-0 outside of the UFC.
4. She has become a model of consistency inside the Octagon.
Chookagian ranks second all-time among UFC women’s flyweights in appearances (nine), second in wins (six), second in total fight time (2:00:58), second in significant strikes landed (528), fourth in total strikes landed (743), fourth in submission attempts (five) and fifth in strikes landed per minute (4.36).
5. She tends to go the distance.
While the Chookagian resume does feature a 45-second knockout, 14 of her 19 professional bouts have reached the judges. She owns a 12-2 record in those fights, having lost only Jessica Eye and Liz Carmouche. Both those losses were by split decision.
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