Yana Kunitskaya returns to competition at this Saturday’s UFC 229 event when she takes on the “Elbow Queen”, Lina Lansberg.
Kunitskaya (10-4-0, 1 NC) makes her second UFC appearance following an unsuccessful promotional debut this past March, losing by way of a first-round TKO to Cris Cyborg in the main event of UFC 222. The ‘Foxy’ one is a former Invicta FC bantamweight champion who won the belt in August 2017 after defeating Raquel Pa’aluhi in the main event of Invicta FC 25. The 28-year-old owns a notable 2010 win over top-five ranked featherweight, Cindy Dandois.
Seventh months on from the Cyborg fight and Kunitskaya has put it firmly behind her.
“I feel like I did bad and there’s no excuses,” Kunitskaya told the UFC Performance Institute. “There’s no pressure, especially after last fight. After that, my team was telling me nothing worse can happen to me and I’m okay. I’m still here.”
Kunitskaya appears a lot more confident for the upcoming fight against Lansberg, admitting she finds the skills of her opponent to be “basic”.
“I’m trying to be good all around,” Kunitskaya said. “Any game that she tries to put in this fight, I’m ready for this. Clinch, striking, wrestling, I have a plan for every situation. I’m ready for everything. I think she’s very basic. She’s tough, she can take punches, but I think I’m better. I don’t think her striking will be a problem.”
“All the people from our community who understand the level of fighters say I’m the favorite,” Kunitskaya continued. “But I said if I’m not the favorite to bookmakers, I don’t care. I know I’m the favorite to me. I’d have to be a stupid person not to worry at all, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not confident. I’m confident for this fight.”
A victory over Lansberg on Saturday would certainly be a big one for Kunitskaya and should see the ‘Foxy’ one begin her climb up the ranks, considering the fact that Lansberg is ranked number-twelve in the UFC rankings and number-ten in the WMMA World Rankings
UFC 229 takes place this Saturday October 6 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The early preliminary card featuring Lansberg vs. Kunitskaya will be aired live on UFC Fight Pass from 6:15pm EST.