Russian prospect Yana “Foxy” Kunitskaya posted her fifth straight win on Saturday night at Lion’s Fights 1: “The Beginning” in Saint Petersburg. Kunitskaya earned a hard-fought Unanimous Decision victory over fellow striker Anna Melikhova in an action-packed Fight of the Night battle.
A planned 115-pound title fight between Carla Esparza and Angela Magana was scrapped on just a few hours’ notice from Saturday’s MEZ Sports: “Pandemonium 6” card in Riverside, California. Magana was involved in an automobile accident earlier in the day and could not compete due to injury.
Kunitskaya (7-1-0), who picked up a quick win in February, had a much tougher fight on her hands this past weekend than many had anticipated. Melikhova (0-1-0), despite limited experience in MMA, held her own in many of the striking exchanges through two rounds. Kunitskaya was eventually able to wear her opponent down with punches, but for only the second time in her pro career, the 22-year-old was forced to go the distance. The ringside judges awarded the competitive bout to Kunitskaya, who has won five straight fights since her lone professional setback in May 2010.
Kunitskaya remains hopeful that she will be able to compete against some of North America’s top female fighters at 145 pounds in the coming year, but she has thus far been unable to secure a visa to compete in the United States.
Winner: Yana Kunitskaya by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 7-1-0.
Saturday was difficult for all involved in the planned bout between Esparza (6-2-0) and Magana (11-4-0), but especially so for both competitors. Magana was reportedly rear-ended in a hit-and-run automobile accident early in the day, which reaggravated an existing back injury. She was taken to hospital and removed from the card, and will also be unable to compete in a tentative fight planned for March 30th. When a suitable replacement opponent could not be secured on such short notice, a disappointed Esparza was also taken off of the card. She hopes to make a quick return to the cage and could compete again as early as sometime this month. A timetable for Magana’s return is not yet known.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)