Not many people gave Yana Kunitskaya much of a chance vs. Cris Cyborg recently at UFC 222.
But the former Invicta FC champion did believe in herself.
Kunitskaya suffered a first round TKO loss to Cyborg for the UFC female featherweight title in her debut with the promotion. The loss dropped the 28-year-old from Russia to 10-4 overall with a no-contest.
“It was a weird experience,” she said during the post-fight press conference. I was so nervous and I hope to come back as fast as I can. I think I was nervous because I was facing Cris Cyborg, a great fighter that’s not in my weight class. It was all a mental problem that I will try to fix and come back stronger.”
Kunitskaya, who won the Invicta FC bantamweight title before being signed by the UFC to meet Cyborg, said she plans to return to that division for her next fight.
Despite the first round loss, Kunitskaya did show some promise, as she took Cyborg’s back for a brief moment and secured a takedown.
“I felt I could control the fight at some points, but you saw what happened,” Kunitskaya said. “That’s why I’m so sad.”
Kunitskaya defeated Raquel Pa’aluhi via decision last August to win the vacant Invicta FC title. She won eight of her first nine fights, including a 34-second finish of Cindy Dandois in Russia in 2010.