Valentina Shevchenko defends her flyweight championship against Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247. It goes down Saturday, February 8th live on pay-per-view. The event emanates from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Shevchenko vs Chookagian is positioned as the co-main event bout just below Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes. The reigning titlist is seen by many pundits and fans alike as untouchable at 125 lbs. A very capable number one contender aims to throw cold water onto that notion.
I was able to briefly speak with top contender Katlyn Chookagian during the UFC 247 media conference call held on February 3rd.
My first question was in regards to the controversial Liz Carmouche cut from the UFC. Carmouche was oused from the promotion after losing in a title fight to Valentina Shevchenko but not fighting ina way that the UFC brass deemed normatively entertaining in their viewpoint. I asked Chookagian if that possibly could affect her approach to fighting Shevchenko or if it added outside pressures of any sort.
Katlyn Chookagian said, “No, I mean my style is my style and I’ve trained martial arts my whole life. The way you react and how you become a fighter. Sometimes you can help some of those things and try to grow and be better. But this is my style. I’m gonna fight. It’s me in there fighting. Not anyone else. So it’s easy for people on the outside to say ‘oh you should do this. You should do that’. But they’re not in there doing it and facing the opponents that you’re facing. That’s just my style. I’m confident in myself as a fighter and a martial artist. I’m happy with how I perform. If that were to ever be an issue then that’s just how things are supposed to be.”
I also asked what makes Chookagian different than prior Shevchenko adversaries. In response, Katlyn Chookagian stated “Every fighter is completely different. I don’t think I’ve faced two fighters that were super similar. I’m just a high volume striker. Especially at flyweight I’m probably one of the higher volume strikers. I move, I can do everything, I’m not just one-sided. I’ve been training martial arts for my whole life. A lot of times I think that I have that advantage over some girls. Some girls that have only been training for a few years and I’ve been doing it my whole life. So I’ve seen kind of everything.”