November 11, 1989|
Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)|
|Reach||64.0 in (163 cm)|
|Style||Taekwondo, Boxing, Muay Thai|
|Fighting out of||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Team||Jackson Wink MMA Academy|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Yana Kunitskaya is a Russian mixed martial artist in the bantamweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of October 8, 2018, she is #10 in official UFC women's bantamweight rankings.
Yana Kunitskaya was born in 1989, in the city of Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast, in northwestern Russia. Her mother, Olga Kunitskaya, was a professional gymnast and her father, Joseph, was a professional skier. She has a younger sister, Victoria. Yana became involved in martial arts early in her childhood, starting with taekwondo at preschool age, and won numerous tournaments among both girls and boys, with many fights ending in knockouts. At 12 years old, she began competing in hand-to-hand combat (Russian: рукопашный бой), participating in a large number of fights without suffering a defeat. When she was 16 years old, Kunitskaya went to live and study in St. Petersburg, and entered the SPGUFK[expand acronym] team at Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, Department of Boxing. At age 18, she started practicing mixed martial arts (MMA).
On August 9, 2012, Kunitskaya announced that she was pregnant with her first child. In August 2013, she announced the end of her sports career and her transition to coaching, but she came out of retirement three years later. She then signed a contract with the Invicta Fighting Championships (IFC or Invicta FC) in which only females compete.
Mixed martial arts career
Kunitskaya made her professional mixed-martial-arts debut on May 23, 2009, at a K-1 World Grand Prix event in Poland. She defeated Magdalena Jarecka by technical knockout (TKO) in the first round. After winning two of her next three fights, Kunitskaya faced unbeaten prospect Cindy Dandois at M-1 Challenge XXII on December 10, 2010. She defeated Dandois by TKO in 34 seconds. On November 19, 2011, Kunitskaya faced Arune Lauzeckaite at Bushido Hero's: World Grand Prix Lithuania, winning by TKO in the first round.
In 2012, Kunitskaya faced Ekaterina Saraykina at Verdict Fighting Championship 1 on February 11, defeating Saraykina by TKO in the first round. In March, she faced Anna Melikhova at Lion's Fights 1 and won by unanimous decision after two rounds. She then defeated Sylwia Kusiak by TKO in round one at Baltic Arena in Koszalin, Poland, in June. Kunitskaya was scheduled to face Danielle West at Starlight Events: Gladiator World Cup 2012 on July 6 in Marbella, Spain, but the event was cancelled.
Invicta Fighting Championships
Yana defeated Tonya Evinger for the Invicta FC Bantamweight title on November 18, 2016. On December 1, the win was overturned to a no contest, so Evinger retained her title. Kunitskaya faced Evinger in a rematch in the main event of Invicta FC 22 on March 25, 2017, and lost by submission in the second round.
Kunitskaya defeated Raquel Pa'aluhi at Invicta FC 25 on August 31, 2017, to win the vacant Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Kunitskaya made her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) promotional debut at UFC 222 on March 3, 2018, against Cris Cyborg for the featherweight title. She lost the fight by TKO in the first round.
Championships and accomplishments
- Invicta Fighting Championships
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|16 matches||11 wins||4 losses|
|Win||11–4 (1)||Lina Länsberg||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 229||October 6, 2018||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Return to Bantamweight.|
|Loss||10–4 (1)||Cris Cyborg||TKO (punches)||UFC 222||March 3, 2018||1||3:25||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship.|
|Win||10–3 (1)||Raquel Pa'aluhi||Decision (unanimous)||Invicta FC 25: Kunitskaya vs. Pa'aluhi||August 31, 2017||5||5:00||Lemoore, California, United States||Won the vacant Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship. Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||9–3 (1)||Tonya Evinger||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Invicta FC 22: Evinger vs. Kunitskaya II||March 25, 2017||2||4:32||Kansas City, Missouri, United States||For the Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship.|
|NC||9–2 (1)||Tonya Evinger||NC (overturned)||Invicta FC 20: Evinger vs. Kunitskaya||November 18, 2016||1||1:59||Kansas City, Missouri, United States||For the Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship. Originally a submission (armbar) win for Kunitskaya; overturned after Evinger appealed the loss due to a controversial referee call. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||9–2||Yanan Wu||TKO (punches)||Fightspirit Championship 6||September 4, 2016||2||0:32||St. Petersburg, Russia||Bantamweight debut.|
|Loss||8–2||Zaira Dyshekova||Submission (armbar)||ACB 32: Battle of Lions||March 26, 2016||1||3:38||Moscow, Russia||Catchweight (137 lbs) bout.|
|Win||8–1||Sylwia Kusiak||TKO (corner stoppage)||Baltic Arena||June 15, 2012||1||0:50||Koszalin, Poland|
|Win||7–1||Anna Melikhova||Decision (unanimous)||Lion's Fights 1: The Beginning||March 3, 2012||2||5:00||St. Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||6–1||Ekaterina Saraykina||TKO (punches)||Verdict Fighting Championship 1||February 11, 2012||1||1:05||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||5–1||Arune Lauzeckaite||TKO (punches)||Bushido Lithuania: Hero's Lithuania 2011||November 19, 2011||1||1:34||Vilnius, Lithuania|
|Win||4–1||Cindy Dandois||TKO (punches)||M-1 Challenge 22||December 10, 2010||1||0:34||Moscow, Russia||Featherweight bout.|
|Win||3–1||Kamila Bałanda||TKO (punches)||Bushido Lithuania: Hero's Lithuania 2010||November 20, 2010||1||4:26||Vilnius, Lithuania|
|Loss||2–1||Maria Hougaard Djursaa||Decision (unanimous)||FG 14: Ice Cold||May 29, 2010||3||5:00||Odense, Denmark|
|Win||2–0||Vladena Yavorskaya||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Bushido FC Legends||November 28, 2009||1||3:20||St. Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||1–0||Magdalena Jarecka||TKO (punches)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2009||May 23, 2009||1||1:38||Łódź, Poland|
- "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
- "Who is Yana Kunitskaya, UFC 222's mystery headliner?". Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "Yana Kunitskaya Announces Pregnancy, Out Until Mid-2013". MMARising.com. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
- "Яна Куницкая: «Займусь ли я еще своей спортивной карьерой – точно сказать не могу»". Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "Yana Kunitskaya Upsets Cindy Dandois At M-1 Challenge 22". MMARising.com. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- "Yana Kunitskaya Stops Arune Lauzeckaite At Bushido Hero's". MMARising.com. 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Yana Kunitskaya Faces Ekaterina Saraykina At Verdict FC 1". MMARising.com. 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- "Weekend Recap: Yana Kunitskaya Victorious At Verdict FC 1". MMARising.com. 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
- "Yana Kunitskaya To Face Anna Melikhova At Lion's Fights 1". MMARising.com. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Weekend Recap: Yana Kunitskaya Wins, Esparza-Magana Off". MMARising.com. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "Yana Kunitskaya vs Danielle West Targeted For July 6 In Spain". MMARising.com. 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Weekend Recap: Kunitskaya vs West Scrapped, Promoter Jailed". MMARising.com. 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- MMARising.com. "Yana Kunitskaya Stops Arune Lauzeckaite At Bushido Hero's - MMARising.com". Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- "Yana Kunitskaya Still Revelling in Victory Over Dandois - Fight Network". Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- "Champ Tonya Evinger vs. Yana Kunitskaya, Champ Angela Hill vs. Kaline Medeiros headline Invicta FC 20". 13 October 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Raimondi, Marc (19 November 2016). "Invicta 20 results: Kunitskaya stuns champ Evinger". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Tonya Evinger successfully appeals shocking Invicta FC 20 loss, is once again bantamweight champ". 1 December 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega scheduled for UFC 222". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
- "UFC 222 results: Cris Cyborg tested early, but takes out Yana Kunitskaya in first". MMAjunkie. 2018-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- Staff (2018-08-06). "Kunitskaya vs. Lansberg headed to UFC 229 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
- "UFC 229 play-by-play and live results". MMAjunkie. 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2018-10-06.