Las Vegas, NV — Coming into UFC Vegas 46, Katlyn Chookagian is in a tough spot in the women’s flyweight division.
“Blonde Fighter” is currently the No. 2 ranked flyweight in the division, but came up short when she challenged Valentina Shevchenko for the title. Unfortunately, she also keeps knocking off all of the other contenders out there, and with that, she is running out of top challengers to fight.
Chookagian (16-4) doesn’t mind fighting down the rankings, though. The problem is that UFC doesn’t think the upcoming prospects are ready to fight the No. 2 ranked flyweight just yet.
“I think it’s more frustrating for everyone else because they have to go through me. The only problem with staying at the top is that I’m running out of opponents to fight,” Chookagian told the media, including Cageside Press, during the UFC Vegas 46 media day this week. “I’ve fought almost every girl in the top 10. All of the girls that are up-and-comers that are doing really well and look good, I’m like ‘oh, I haven’t fought them, I want to fight them’ and then they’re [the UFC] like ‘well, they are ranked too low.’ Well, who am I supposed to fight? It’s not my problem. That part is a little frustrating.”
The 33-year old fighter rematches Jennifer Maia on Saturday. The pair fought back at UFC 244 in 2019, and Chookagian won a unanimous decision that earned her a title shot.
The flyweight division has had numerous new prospects and contenders emerge last year. Casey O’Neil, Manon Fiorot, Miranda Maverick, Taila Santos, and Erin Blanchfield, to name a few. However, Chookagian thinks Blanchfield is the one that will climb the rankings the quickest.
“The more girls that are in the division and putting on performances that are entertaining-it helps everyone in the division. But, out of all of those girls, I’m super hyped on Erin Blanchfield. You know, I’ve trained with her a lot in New Jersey and New York. I think she is one of the girls that will move up the rankings very fast,” Chookagian said.
Katlyn Chookagian faces Jennifer Maia this Saturday, January 15, 2022, at UFC Vegas 46. The event airs live on ESPN in the U.S. More coverage from Wednesday’s media day can be found below.