January 26, 2022

Jennifer Maia talks this Saturday’s UFC co-main event, and how fighting Shevchenko made her a “more mature fighter”

Jennifer Maia returns to the cage at this Saturday’s UFC Vegas 46 event when she battles Katlyn Chookagian in the co-main event.

Jennifer Maia hopes to work her way back up to a UFC flyweight title shot.


The fight will be a rematch from a November 2019 encounter in which Chookagian picked up the unanimous decision win. Chookagian is considered the best UFC flyweight in the world, other than Valentina Shevchenko & Jessica Andrade. Maia wants to take that spot, and continue her path at one day getting a rematch against Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC flyweight championship.

Maia challenged Shevchenko for the UFC flyweight championship in November 2020, losing by way of a unanimous decision. Although the Brazilian came up short, it should be noted she was Shevchenko’s toughest opponent since Amanda Nunes and even won a round against the champ.

During a recent chat with MMA Junkie, Maia spoke about the lessons she learnt from her fight against Shevchenko, as well as the upcoming rematch against Katlyn Chookagian.


On Valentina Shevchenko fight:
Of course I was very sad when I lost the fight, but after watching the fight, I could see that I did a very good fight against one of the best female fighters ever. So that’s what motivated me to start over and keep on track. I think fighting Valentina made me realize I am a more mature fighter now. I have a lot of things that I was not able to show yet, so I’m really, really looking at this in a different way.”

On how Katlyn Chookagian rematch came abo
ut:

That was not a fight like, ‘Oh I have to have that rematch’. I wanted to fight somebody that was in front of me in the rankings, and because I fought Jessica Eye last time and she was behind me in the rankings, I was like, ‘Whoever is in front of me right now, I will face it.’ It just happened to be Katlyn.”


UFC Vegas 46 takes place this Saturday January 15, 2022, from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The main card, co-headlined by Chookagian vs. Maia II, will be aired live on ESPN and ESPN+ from 7pm ET.

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