UFC 280: Katlyn Chookagian Not Worried About Being The One To Beat For Title Shot

Abu Dhabi, UAE – UFC flyweight Katlyn Chookagian has faced the who’s who of the women’s flyweight division at this point, but she gets a fresh face when she takes on Manon Fiorot at UFC 280 on Saturday night.

“I think I’ve fought so many different fighters that I’ve kind of seen it all which is an advantage for me. This is, I think, my 16th UFC fight. I think all but maybe two of them were top 10. I don’t know if many other fighters have done that. At this point in my career everyone I kind of fight is looking to get past me to the title shot,” Chookagian told the media on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t faze me. I’ve been here, I’ve seen it, there’s a reason why I’m still at the top of the division for so long.”

Many call her the gatekeeper at flyweight, but it’s not something that bothers Chookagian.

“I’d prefer to be in Valentina’s (Shevchenko) position to be honest, but if I’m not there yet it’s not a bad place to be. I think for me it’s been almost, over two-and-a-half years since I fought for the title. I’ve had 7 fights in the UFC since. 6-1 since then. If I win this fight on Saturday it’s a 5-fight win streak so I think a win on Saturday would kind of change my position a little bit to maybe be in the conversation for another title shot,” Chookagian said.

Chookagian and her next opponent had been matched up for UFC Paris earlier in the year, but the fight never materialized pushing it to UFC 280 this weekend.

“I never pulled out. I never originally took the fight. I was coming off my last fight. I had a couple injuries and I wanted to take the fight if it was pushed back a little bit. Obviously they wanted her on the Paris card so they gave it to (Jessica) Andrade instead pushing it back for me which was understandable,” she said.

“I didn’t pull out. I never took the fight. I think people were confused about that.”

Andrade ended up withdrawing from the bout, and Chookagian then accepted the bout for UFC Paris. Fiorot then pulled out of the fight herself.

As far as a possible rematch with Shevchenko many have said that the blueprint to beat the champion is out there already, but Chookagian isn’t so sure.

“I don’t know. It’s a tough position for her to be in where she’s fighting five rounds all the time and when you’re so dominant if you have one little moment when you’re not dominant everyone highlights that instead of all the other things,” Chookagian said.

“At the end of the day she won and that’s all that matters.”

Watch the entire media day scrum with Katlyn Chookagian above. Chookagian takes on Manon Fiorot at UFC 280 on Saturday October 22nd.