Katlyn Chookagian to finally receive opportunity against Flyweight Champ Valentina Shevchenko
The UFC matchmakers have booked a matchup that gives the rankings some credibility. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Valentina Shevchenko will be defending her Flyweight Title against Katlyn Chookagian. The fight will take place on Sunday, February 8, in a location to be determined.
Currently ranked number one in the women’s flyweight rankings, Chookagian (13-2) has been patiently waiting for her time to shine. 5-0 as a flyweight before joining the UFC, “Blonde Fighter” primarily fought at bantamweight, going 2-1 at that weight. Returning to flyweight in 2018, Chookagian defeated Mara Romero Borella via unanimous decision. From there she beat Alexis Davis before losing out to Jessica Eye via split decision at UFC 231. That ended her three-fight win streak and a contender spot that Eye took.
“Blonde Fighter” bounced back with two unanimous decision victories over Joanne Calderwood at UFC 238 and Jennifer Maia at UFC 244. Bullying Maia in New York, Chookagian took advantage of her platform to demand a fight that has been put to the side for so long.
“The UFC knows exactly who I want,” Chookagian stated after the fight. “If they’re not going to give it to me, I’m going to keep taking down every girl in the top five until they give it to me.”
She is now getting what she wants, but is the reward worth the risk? Shevchenko (18-3), is on a four-fight win streak going into her third defense of the Flyweight Title. After losing to Amanda Nunes for the UFC Bantamweight Title at UFC 215, “The Bullet” returned to flyweight in 2018 for the first time since 2006, beating Priscila Cachoeira via submission. From there, her reign of terror began.
Valentina dominated Joanna Jędrzejczyk to win the vacant title and then knocked out the aforementioned Eye at UFC 238. She then easily took care of Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision back in August, avenging a loss against her in 2010.
The fight is an interesting clash of styles. Known for her footwork, all eight of Chookagian’s fights in the UFC have ended via decision. Six of Schevchnko’s fights in the UFC have ended via decision, with two submission wins and one via knockout. Regardless of the outcome, a flyweight division that has had so many question marks surrounding it has finally turned itself around. Fights like Chookagian v. Schevchnko are helping its cause.
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