Russian bantamweight Yana Kunitskaya whetted an appetite for her return this weekend as she urged fans not to miss her contest against dangerous Brazilian Ketlen Vieira in Las Vegas.
Kunitskaya and Vieira have the honor of settling the co-main event on Saturday’s Fight Night card at the UFC Apex, spearheaded by the heavyweight showdown between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis.
Russian Kunitskaya and her Brazilian rival will both try to stand up again for a possible shot to 135 pounds of gold in the women’s ranks, each coming back from defeat by winning their last Octagon games.
In the case of the 31-year-old Kunitskaya, this victory was already a unanimous victory against the Lithuanian Julija Stoliarenko in August. After a third-round loss to TKO, the former Invicta FC star known as “Foxy” returned to the Aspen Ladd in December 2019.
The loss to Ladd halted the momentum Kunitskaya had gained with two wins en route to the competition, though the seventh-placed bantamweight will likely know a strong showing against Vieira – the one one step above her on the 135-pound ladder stands – will push them back into the title interview.
Also on rt.com
Russian MMA star Yana Kunitskaya is selling a “beautiful” bloody UFC shirt to raise money for charity
That discussion about bantamweight gold has been growing in recent weeks, with Julianna Pena urging current bantamweight queen, Amanda Nunes, who also rules the 145lb roost, to face her or vacate the title after holding it longer than Had not defended for 12 months.
32-year-old Nunes is currently busy with an upcoming defense of her featherweight crown against Megan Anderson at UFC 259 on March 6th.
Kunitskaya sparked anticipation this Saturday night and shared photos with fiancee and UFC light heavyweight Thiago Santos in furry headgear to promote her showdown with Vieira.
“It’s fight week,” wrote Kunitskaya along with the pictures, adding in Russian that her fans shouldn’t miss the clash with Vieira.
The photos with Santos came just days after the couple showed their love in a series of Valentine’s Day pictures in poses on the beach.
Kunitskaya, who has a career of 13 wins, 5 losses and 1 non-competition, will face stiff resistance in the form of Vieira.
The Brazilian suffered the first loss of her career in a first-round knockout loss to Irene Aldana at UFC 245 in December 2019, but bounced back with a unanimous win over Sijara Eubanks last September to bring her record to 5 in the UFC: 1 to improve.
Kunitskaya and Vieira were originally scheduled to meet in August, despite ‘Fenomeno’ being forced due to visa problems and the Russian defeating Stoliarenko.
When the two finally meet this Saturday, it could have an impact on how the women’s 135-pound ranks play out for the remainder of the year as rivals scramble for their position in anticipation of life after Amanda Nunes.