Top five flyweights clash as Katlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo aim to cement their position towards the top of the rankings. Will Chookagian get back to winning ways or can Calvillo claim another win at 125lbs and edge closer to a title shot?
Katlyn Chookagian (14-4) is the former Cage Fury FC champion at both flyweight and bantamweight and joined the UFC in 2016 at 135lbs with a perfect 7-0 professional record. Now 7-4 in the UFC, all of her wins have come via the judges (six unanimously) and she has still never been submitted in her career.
Currently ranked as the number 12 pound for pound (P4P) woman in the UFC and competing at flyweight, “Blonde Fighter” fought for the title in February where she lost to Valentina Shevchenko by TKO early in round three at UFC 247. Her last fight was also against championship-caliber; she welcomed former strawweight champion, Jéssica Andrade, to the 125lbs division last month but lost by TKO with five seconds remaining of round one.
Standing five feet nine inches tall and with a 68-inch reach, Chookagian will have a five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage over Calvillo and will want to make the most of this by keeping the fight standing. Chookagian has never suffered back to back defeats in her career and a win this weekend keeps her amongst the very best at flyweight.
Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) made her UFC debut just over six months after making her professional MMA debut and held a record of 3-0. Fighting as a strawweight since her UFC debut in 2017, Calvillo made her bow at flyweight in her first main event and most recent fight, against Jessica Eye in June which she won by unanimous decision.
Eye missed weight for that contest and this has been a recurring theme in Calvillo’s UFC fights; half of her eight bouts have been at catchweight, twice due to opponents coming in heavy on the scale and twice due to Calvillo missing weight. Going the distance in the main event and making weight in her last appearance suggests that perhaps flyweight is where she can most fully display her skills.
Calvillo is unbeaten in her last four bouts with a majority draw against Marina Rodriguez in December last year the only one she has not won in that time. Her only career defeat came by a unanimous decision against the former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 219.
Now a top flyweight contender, Calvillo has a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and wrestling, and has three submission wins (all by rear-naked choke) and three unanimous decision victories in the UFC to her name. Currently listed number 10 in the UFC women’s P4P rankings, Calvillo knows that victory over Chookagian puts her in a strong position to be considered for the next title shot alongside Andrade and Lauren Murphy.
Prediction: Calvillo by decision.
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