A 140lb catchweight fight at UFC Vegas 61 on Saturday saw Julija Stoliarenko welcome Chelsea Chandler to the octagon.
Chandler, an Invicta FC alum, had won four straight fights to earn herself a spot in the big show. The newcomer had originally been booked opposite Leah Letson, but with Stolianrenko stepping up on relatively short notice, the bout was bumped up 5lbs to compensate.
Chandler came forward right off the bat in round one. She did just walk into a flurry of output and a takedown from Stoliarenko however. Stoliarenko went into mount and very quickly went for an arm-bar. That was a mistake, as going with a submission over position she allowed Chandler to get on top.
Chandler was landing heavy ground and pound before just stepping away wanting the fight back on the feet. Chandler kept coming forward landing some power shots and forcing Stoliarenko to shoot. Chandler defended and turned towards Stoliarenko landing right into mount. Stoliarenko was able to quickly kick Chandler off and get back to the feet. The pressure of Chandler was breaking Stoliarenko and Stoliarenko again shot for a lazy takedown. Chandler again turned towards her and landed in mount. Chandler rained down ground and pound from there until the ref stopped the fight.
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“It’s a hard cut to 35, I can make it, but there are girls at 45,” Chandler said following the fight, saying she’d take a featherweight bout in a month if one came available.
Official Result: Chelsea Chandler def. Julia Stoliarenko by TKO (ground and pound), Round 1, 4:15