Yana Kunitskaya


Wins close decision as big underdog
February 20, 2021
Kunitskaya defeated Ketlen Vieira via unanimous decision (29-28 x3) at UFC Vegas 19 on Saturday.
Despite losing Round 1, Yana rallied and dominated Round 2 while finishing strong in Round 3, which helped her earn the unanimous decision victory. This is Kunitskaya's second win in a row and her most significant win to date. We can expect to see a step up in competition for her. She'll always be competitive in fights that project to be largely stand-up affairs, but Kunitskaya showed a developing defensive grappling game Saturday that will come in handy in the future.
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Facing heavy opponent
February 19, 2021
Kunitskaya will move forward with her scheduled matchup against Ketlen Vieira despite Vieira missing weight by two pounds Friday morning, John Morgan of MMAJunkie.com reports.
Kunitskaya hit her mark on the scales without issue Friday morning, but since her opponent did not, she'll end up going home with 20 percent of Vieira's fight purse. As of Friday morning, Kunitskaya sits as a sizable betting underdog of (+230) for the UFC Vegas 19 matchup. She should be able to hold her own in the striking, but it's a perceived ground game disadvantage that's leading to these odds.
Returning to Octagon in February
November 16, 2020
Kunitskaya (neck) reached an agreement Monday to face Ketlen Vieira (11-1-0) in a bantamweight matchup set for the UFC's Feb. 20 event, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
The two were initially scheduled to fight one another Aug. 8, but visa issues forced Vieira to withdraw for the matchup. Julija Stoliarenko stepped in as a replacement for Vieira, with Kunitskaya (13-5-0, 1 NC) dominating the fight in three rounds and winning via unanimous decision. Kunitskaya suffered injuries to her right arm and neck in the victory and was handed a six-month medical suspension, but the fact that she's already booked her next fight suggests she's on track to receive full clearance from doctors by early February.
Six-month medical suspension
August 12, 2020
Kunitskaya received a 180-day medical suspension following her victory over Julija Stoliarenko last Saturday, MMAFighting.com reports.
Kunitskaya must undergo an MRI on her neck and right arm. If those results are positive, she will be unable to fight again until February 5 unless cleared by an orthopedic doctor.
Executes game plan in victory
August 9, 2020
Kunitskaya defeated Julija Stoliarenko via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC on ESPN+ 32 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Kunitskaya was the stronger fighter here, and she worked that to her advantage, repeatedly initiating a clinch with Stoliarenko and forcing her up against the cage. It was largely an uneventful 15 minutes, and when it was all said and done, Kunitskaya had the edge in significant strikes by a count of 43-to-6. In total strikes, Kunitskaya collected 209 compared to just 30 for Stoliarenko. Kunitskaya was in danger from a Stoliarenko armbar late in the second round, but managed to survive to the bell. Since losing to Cyborg back in 2018, Kunitskaya has posted a 3-1 record and remains a factor in the bantamweight division.
Gets new opponent for August fight
July 30, 2020
Kunitskaya will now take on Julija Stoliarenko at the UFC event on August 8, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl reports.
Kunitskaya was supposed to fight Ketlen Vieira at the UFC event on August 1, before it was moved back a week and then Vieira ultimately withdrew for undisclosed reasons. Stoliarenko has not fought in the UFC since 2018.