Cindy Dandois To Face Yana Kunitskaya At M-1 Challenge 22As she continues to wait patiently for an opportunity in Strikeforce, unbeaten Belgian judoka Cindy “Battlecat” Dandois will stay busy with another fight in 2010. She will next face Russia’s Yana Kunitskaya at M-1 Challenge 22 on December 10th at the Druzhba Multipurpose Arena in Moscow.

Dandois became a breakout star in 2009 when she scored a shocking upset win in her pro MMA debut. The hard-fought decision victory came against current Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Champion Marloes “Rumina” Coenen, and Dandois has since picked up a trio of wins for M-1 this year.

Dandois (4-0-0) has not had an easy road in mixed martial arts thus far, from her first bout with Coenen to her most recent fight against the much more experienced Sheila “Bulldog” Gaff in May. Dandois struggled in striking exchanges with Gaff, but managed to take the fight to the mat with her trademark judo throws. As the close fight entered the final round, Dandois was struck with an illegal knee that opened a deep gash near her eye. Dandois could not continue and was awarded a disqualification victory for the foul, though the strike did not appear to be intentional.

Since then, Dandois has waited patiently in hopes of receiving a fight in Strikeforce, where a potential rematch with Coenen looms down the line. However, despite a tentative plan to have her compete for the promotion earlier this year, Dandois has yet to sign a contract with Strikeforce and will instead remain active while fighting for M-1. Additionally, Dandois also has a fight set for March 19, 2011 against Dutch kickboxer Jorina “JoJo” Baars (0-1-0 MMA; 25-0-3 Kickboxing) in Belgium.

Kunitskaya (2-1-0) also opened her career with an upset win when she stopped the more experienced Magdalena Jarecka on May 23, 2009. The bout was the lone MMA contest on the undercard of a K-1 World Grand Prix event. Fighting in six-month intervals, Kunitskaya picked up another victory last November, but suffered her first loss this May when she was defeated by Maria Hougaard Nielsen of Denmark. Kunitskaya’s opponent, Dandois, bested Nielsen by first-round TKO in February.

The women’s bout will be part of a card that also features three championship fights in the men’s welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. UFC veterans Luigi Fioravanti and Vinny Magalhães will also compete in separate bouts on the undercard.

M-1 Challenge 22 takes place on December 10th at the Druzhba Multipurpose Arena in Moscow, Russia, and will stream live on