Yana Kunitskaya: Training With Santos

#UFCVegas6: @yanakunitskaya1 Training With Santos #mma

Yana Kunitskaya comes into UFC Vegas 6 ready for anything. The Russian born fighter takes on Julija Stoliarenko who is making her UFC debut, coming over from Invicta. Kunitskaya, who is sitting at 2-2 in the UFC, has had some good fights and has already fought some of the best. Her debut with the promotion was with Cris Cyborg at a weight class above. Don’t let her UFC record fool you, Kunitskaya is a promising talent for the women’s bantamweight division.

Kunitskaya started training in martial arts at a very young age. But it was the great Fedor Emelianenko and a card with other women that hooked Yana Kunitskaya into competing.

“I start training martial arts when I was 4. Then, I got tickets on an MMA show when I was 16 where Fedor was the main event. It was three female fights, so I thought, ‘Damn, I can do it too.’”

Yana Kunitskaya and Thiago Santos

Yana Kunitskaya is in a relationship with light heavyweight title contender, Thiago Santos. The two like to spend time together and she really enjoys cooking for Santos. “I like traveling and cooking for Thiago,” says Kunitskaya.

This year on April Fool’s Day, Kunitskaya and Santos had the MMA world buzzing with the announcement of a “pregnancy.” It turned out the day was too good pass up and was part of the day’s shenanigans. Kunitskaya took claim for the prank saying, “It was my idea,” with a glowing smile.

Yana Kunitskaya and Thiago Santos have both fought for titles in the UFC and Santos arguably beat Jon Jones. When asked if the two’s child would be a super-athlete, Kunitskaya said, “Absolutely, he would!”

Kunitskaya feels training with Santos has also made her a better fighter. “I am improved a lot,” says Yana Kunitskaya. “We are training together twice a day!”

Preparing for UFC Vegas 6

In preparation for UFC Vegas 6, Kunitskaya says she feels completely prepared for Stoliarenko and her grappling capabilities. She has notched four wins by arm bar in MMA and many more in submission grappling. In addition to that, Stoliarenko has a win by arm bar in 2018 on The Ultimate Fighter. Despite all of those credentials, Kunitskaya says her and Santos have immediately started preparing for this and Stoliarenko should not expect an easy win over the former title challenger.

“When I got call, I watched her fights and went to the gym the same evening. We start drilling armbar defense with Thiago. I feel confident.”

Kunitskaya stays super focused on the task at hand. She has career goals only as far as her next fight. “Right now, I am focused only on upcoming fight.” While her goals might be more grand, she is hyper-focused on the task at hand.

Kunitskaya was originally scheduled to face Ketlen Vieira but that fight fell through when Vieira withdrew from the fight. While the fight may be off, Kunitskaya would still like to get that fight. “I would like to meet her in the future.” With both fighters being promising prospects, they are bound to meet eventually.

Be sure to follow Yana Kunitskaya on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to follow her fight journey.

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Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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