Yana Kunitskaya isn’t about to look past her opponent at UFC DC this weekend, but she did give her pick in the Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie title fight at UFC 245.
Washington, D.C. — Yana Kunitskaya (12-4, 1NC) will look to make it three in a row in the women’s bantamweight division this weekend at UFC on ESPN 7. She’ll be facing Aspen Ladd, a highly touted prospect in the division. Of course, Ladd is coming off a rough loss to Germaine de Randamie, who is now fighting Amanda Nunes for the 135lb title.
While that might indicate that Kunitskaya herself is reaching the top of the weight class, she’s not placing any extra importance on this fight, she told media outlets including Cageside Press on Thursday. “For me every fight is very important, so it doesn’t really matter who is [the] opponent. Every fight matters, and sure, fight with Aspen is a great opponent for me,” she said.
Great opponent or not, however, “I’m focused 100% on this fight,” she added, “not overlooking [it], that it’s close to a title shot or something. I’m so focused on Aspen.”
Asked about Ladd’s previous outing, Kunitskaya suggested that “I think that last fight, she met [an] opponent that she’d never met before, a girl with knockout power. I wasn’t surprised that the fight finished like this.”
That fight provided some key insights for the former Invicta FC champ. “In her last fight we saw a lot of holes. A lot of things. I’m going to try to finish that fight,” she said.
Kunitskaya, who has been training at the UFC PI, and is dating UFC light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos, is slowly coming on at bantamweight. But she brushed off the idea that she’s been overlooked, instead choosing to focus on the fight itself.
“It’s not really important that she lost, or win, or if she was still undefeated,” said Kunitskaya. “Every fight is very important. It doesn’t matter who I’m facing. I’m focused, and waiting for my opponent to show her best. It’s what I’m waiting [for] from Aspen, is just to show her best. I’m waiting for this.”
As to the bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie, just over a week away, Kunitskaya sees ‘The Lioness’ coming out on top.
“I think Amanda is more well-rounded. Anything can happen in a fight, but I think Amanda is going to win.”
Watch the full UFC DC media day press scrum with Yana Kunitskaya above!