UFC women’s bantamweight contender Yana Kunitskaya says she’ll set her sights on returning UFC legend Miesha Tate after UFC 264.
Tate, a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, is set to return to the Octagon next weekend at UFC Vegas 31 after a hiatus of over four years. After achieving 2016’s Comeback of the Year and dethroning Holly Holm, “Cupcake” fell to consecutive losses against Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington before announcing her retirement from the sport.
But Tate will make her highly anticipated return to action against #12-ranked Marion Reneau, who’s lost her last four fights, on July 17. The 34-year-old will look to return to the form that brought her a memorable submission victory over “The Preacher’s Daughter” at UFC 196.
Despite being focused on her own matchup at this weekend’s pay-per-view, Yana Kunitskaya is intrigued by the idea of a fight against the former 135-pound champ, should both secure wins over the coming weeks.
While speaking to MMA Junkie during UFC 264 media day, the Russian said she’d seen a video of Tate calling her out and isn’t opposed to the potential matchup.
“Miesha Tate is coming back, so we’ll see what happens after her fight. I really would like that. I saw a video that she called me out, and maybe if we both win this fight, this will be an interesting matchup.”
Having trained together at Xtreme Couture, “Foxy” added that a fight against Tate after their respective bouts would make sense for both parties.
“We trained a little bit like worked with each other. We rolled a little and worked conditioning, but it’s a fight, you know – it’s not personal. I have so much respect for her, but I really would like to have this fight,” said Kunitskaya.
Despite calling out her former teammate, the 31-year-old was full of praise for Tate, stating that she likes the veteran.
“I really like her personality, and I think she has a big name, and it can be an interesting fight.”
But before looking too much into a matchup with Tate, Kunitskaya will have her hands full this Saturday when she faces fellow contender Irene Aldana. In a losing effort against Holm, the Mexican fought in her first main event at UFC Fight Island 4 last October. She’ll be desperate to return to the win column when she enters the Octagon with Kunitskaya at UFC 264.
Having won her last two bouts against Julija Stoliarenko and Ketlen Vieira, Kunitskaya will be looking to leap one step closer to a shot at Amanda Nunes’ UFC gold with a win this weekend. Victories over Aldana and Tate could well book her a place opposite the “Lioness.”
Would you like to see Miesha Tate and Yana Kunitskaya enter the Octagon together?