Making your debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a daunting task. Now imagine if that debut was against the pound-for-pound king or queen. That was the task presented to former women’s Invicta Fighting Championships ace Yana Kunitskaya when she made her way to the UFC for a title fight with Cristiane Justino, better known as “Cyborg.”
Kunitskaya was brave to accept the fight in the first place but like all before her, she was annihilated by the Brazilian when the pair met back in March at UFC 222. The 28 year-old now returns to the Octagon to face Lina Lansberg at UFC 229 in the lighter bantamweight division and Kunitskaya is just happy to move on from the mauling she took earlier in the year.
Kunitskaya told MMAJunkie.com that “nothing can be worse” than her UFC 222 experience.
“Now, I’m going to fight in my weight class,” Kunitskaya continued. “I have long time for preparing. I don’t have this pressure on me. Everything will be much more easier.”
The UFC 229 card is jam packed with exciting fights and Kunitskaya revealed she’s just excited to be on the same card as her favorite fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov:
“In the end, I’m happy because this will be a bigger show and Khabib is my favorite fighter,” Kunitskaya said. “So I’m so happy that we’re going to have a chance to fight in the same card.”
While Lansberg is not on the same level as her last opponent, Kunitskaya is aware of her quality and the problems she can pose but thinks she’ll have too much for her:
“I like her and I think we’re going to show a good fight,” Kunitskaya said. “And I’m sure I can dominate her everywhere. I see myself more strong in every position -- in wrestling, in grappling -- and I think we’ll make a good standup fight. So I think it’s very nice chance for me.
“I’m so happy that I have this opportunity,” she said. “It motivates me so much to train, and I’m happy that I’m staying here in Vegas, and I have everything for preparing for this fight. I have long time, I have a good camp and I’m so excited.”