After three-rounds of back and forth action, New Jersey’s Katlyn ‘BlondeFighter’ Chookagian tilted the scores in her favor in a razor close split-decision over Irene Aldana at UFC 210 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York Saturday night.
The judges scored the bout 28-29, 29-28 x2. The bout was featured on the UFC 210 Early Fight Pass prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Although Chookagian (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) attempted numerous times to get Aldana down to the canvas. Aldana (7-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) defended every take down perfectly, keeping the two rising bantamweight’s on their feet.
Aldana has said in the media that she hopes to be the female version of boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, which shows through her head movement and footwork, but it did not get her the victory Saturday night. Chookagian answered every combo Aldana threw and was more aggressive, landing significantly more strike to the body as well.
“To me, I think this fight was a huge fight that was overlooked,” Chookagian said in her post fight interview. “Anyone who follows women’s MMA could agree with that. We’re both new in this division and coming off losses, so I think we got pushed away.”
The ninth career win for Chookagian gets her back in the win column. She earned her first loss at UFC 205 in November to Liz Charmouche via split decision.
Aldana earned her second loss in the octagon after making her debut in December against Leslie Smith. The losses through do not come without stellar performances. Aldana and Smith earned Fight of the Night in December after a three-round war.
What’s next for the BlondeFighter? I would like to see her against Ashlee Evans-Smith. Chookagian has yet to really showcase her ground game since making her debut last July. Evans-Smith would be a great test for her in that area. Also, this would get Chookagian back to fighting women in the top 15.
So Sean Shelby, what do you think? *wink wink nudge nudge*