UFC 264: Yana Kunitskaya Hoping to Land Miesha Tate Fight


Las Vegas, NV — Yana Kunitskaya has a chance to land in the title conversation at bantamweight this Saturday. And if that shouldn’t happen at UFC 264, she’s also keen to fight one particular former champ.

That would be Miesha Tate, who makes her return to the octagon later this month.

For Kunitskaya, things have started to come together. The former Invicta FC champ, who faces Irene Aldana this weekend, has won four of her last five. “I feel good about this. I think I’ve improved so much after the move to Florida, and starting training at American Top Team,” she stated during Wednesday’s UFC 264 media day. “I think it’s a good time for me to keep moving up.”

Aldana is coming into the fight off a loss, prior to which her name had been floated in the women’s bantamweight title conversation. That has Kunitskaya quite happy with the match-up.

“At first I’m so happy that the UFC always give me an opportunity to fight opponents higher than me in the rankings,” said Kunitskaya. “I think she’ll be so motivated after the loss. I’m so excited for this fight.”

Asked whether she should be considered for a title shot with a win, Kunitskaya replied by saying that “I think yes, but you know, Miesha Tate is coming back, so we’ll see what happens after her fight. I really would like— I saw a video, she called me out, and maybe if we both win this fight, maybe this will be an interesting match-up.”

The pair have trained a little in the past, but as Kunitskaya added, “it’s a fight, it’s not personal. I have so much respect for her, but I really would like to have this fight.” What it boils down to is that Tate is the whole package. “I really like her personality, and I think she has a big name. It’s going to be an interesting fight.”

First up however comes Aldana. “I think she’s a good boxer, but in this level, everyone is very [well]-rounded. So we’ve prepared for everything, like always,” Kunitskaya observed. She also insisted that despite calling for the Tate fight, she’s not overlooking her opponent. “I’m focused on the here and now.”

Watch the full UFC 264 media day scrum with Yana Kunitskaya above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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