UFC London: Julija Stoliarenko Sheds Light On Weight Class Move

London, England — It’s safe to say that Julija Stolianrenko’s decision to move to the flyweight division raised a few eyebrows when it was announced earlier this year.

Stoliarneko (10-7-2), a former Invicta FC bantamweight champ, had most recently competed at a 140 pound catchweight, and in 2021 suffered a fainting spell at weigh-ins for a fight with Julia Avila.

As part of Saturday’s UFC London card, however, Stoliarenko will make her debut at 125 pounds opposite Molly McCann, in the co-main event at the o2 Arena. During Thursday’s media day, the Lithuanian fighter shed some light into why she opted to make the move.

“I always was like a normal bantamweight. With time, my weight cuts started to be easier and easier,” Stoliarenko told media outlets including Cageside Press. “And the last three fights, I did not cut much weight. Basically looking at my frame, I’m a typical flyweight. I never was the biggest bantamweight.”

Stoliarenko and her coach were looking at how to change weight classes a while back. “We were looking for how to cut weight more, and my body just started to do that by itself.” That afforded her the opportunity to pull the trigger.

At flyweight, Stoliarenko believes she’ll be a better fighter.

“If you look at my record, I was a pretty good bantamweight, but as a featherweight, I was so-so. So I hope that I’m going to be an even better flyweight.”

Of course, her debut in the weight class will be coming in front of a hostile crowd. McCann, from Liverpool, has become the face of female fighting in England. “It’s not the first time for me fighting in enemy territory,” noted Stoliarenko. “For me, honestly, I love that. I love when I’m fighting in the territory of my opponent and everybody’s cheering for them. It boosts me also.”

“Fighting in London, it was my dream. Because London is closest city where UFC is doing events to Lithuania. We have a very big community of Lithuanians here. Also, I’m representing Roger Gracie Academy, and the academy is here.”

With that in mind, Julija Stoliarenko has felt at home throughout Fight Week.

Watch the full UFC London media day appearance by Julija Stoliarenko above.