Yana Kunitskaya Leaves Ketlen Vieira In a Pool of Blood to Win via Unanimous Decision

Published 02/20/2021, 10:41 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 08: (R-L) Yana Kunitskaya of Russia kicks Julija Stoliarenko of Lithuania in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Yana Kunitskaya just pulled off a fantastic win in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Lewis. Kunitskaya was facing ranked competitor, Ketlen Vieira, in a battle that many had chalked for Vieira towards the end. She controlled the entire third round on the ground. However, Kunitskaya stayed active throughout.

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Yana was damaging Vieira even when she was caught in a body triangle, not allowing Vieira to tap her out. She then switched positions and unleashed brutal ground and pound to finish the round. While it went to a judges’ scorecard, that ending could have been enough to end the fight right then and there.

The judges’ scored this as a 29-28 unanimous decision. Even though there was a massive strike differential between the two women, Vieira dominated most of the fight on the ground, especially in the first and third rounds. However, Yana’s activity (even while being dominated) and damage were rewarded in a good decision win.

Yana Kunitskaya: Where does she go from here?

Though many considered Vieira to be the favorite, Yana Kunitskaya just proved that she shouldn’t be overlooked. However, she showed how deep her skill-set is in this bout. She wasn’t afraid of Vieira’s BJJ at any point and got through the bout. Vieira couldn’t tap her out, nor could she stand toe-to-toe with her.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 08: (L-R) Julija Stoliarenko of Lithuania punches Yana Kunitskaya of Russia in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Kunitskaya beat the 7th ranked contender in the division and will be hoping to move up the pecking order a little. There are plenty of fights above and below her in rankings, which could be interesting. The first opponent in mind would be Irene Aldana, who is ranked sixth in the division and hasn’t fought since her loss to Holly Holm in 2020.

She has beaten most of the people ranked below her. If the UFC wants a high-risk matchup, they could throw her in against someone like the top-five ranked Raquel Pennington. It will be interesting to see how the UFC moves on after this performance, but Yana is soon going to make noise for the title shot.

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What did you make of her performance at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Lewis?

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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