A planned bout between European prospects Maiju “Mai” Kujala and Lena “Hunter” Ovchynnikova has been officially scrapped from the Lappeenranta Fight Night 7 card on April 14th in Finland. LFN promoter and matchmaker Jukka Paananen discussed the cancellation with MMARising.com today.
Kujala was forced out of a fight with Julianna Carneiro Lima earlier this month after struggling to make weight. She cited a medical issue as the cause and had planned to be ready to compete against Ovchynnikova, but will instead take time off to recuperate before returning later this year.
“Unfortunately, I was forced to pull off this great fight [from the card],” said Paananen, who serves as Kujala’s manager in addition to his duties with LFN. “I was very disappointed with this situation, but Maiju needs to put the basic things to work before competing. The second time failing [to make weight] should really be the last time. As Maiju’s manager, I talked with her coach, Mikko Suvanto, and we both thought that there was too much weight to cut in one month for a female athlete. And I wouldn’t be negotiating anymore because of not passing the [weight] scale.
“We saw this as the best choice for Maiju’s career at this point,” Paananen added. “However, I will definitely want to make this fight happen between Maiju and Lena. Maiju needs to get her basic things to work. After that, she is back again and ready to shock the women’s world of MMA. In my opinion, she has all of the talent, physical and mental power, and attitude that will be needed on the way to the top five in the world in her weight class.”
While Kujala will remain on the sidelines for the time being, Ovchynnikova will likely return to the cage on May 6th at Super Fight League 3 in New Delhi. An opponent has not yet been announced.
(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, AllElbows.com)