Yana Kunitskaya Upsets Cindy Dandois At M-1 Challenge 22Russian prospect Yana Kunitskaya needed just 34 seconds to hand Cindy “Battlecat” Dandois the first defeat of her career today at M-1 Challenge 22 in Moscow. The bout was contested entirely on the feet until Kunitskaya dropped Dandois with a flurry that ended the brief battle.

While Dandois’s striking has improved, she was a step behind Kunitaskaya in the fight today and was unable to close the distance to set up one of her textbook judo throws. Kunitskaya, who also fought and won less than three weeks ago, put herself in 145-pound contendership with the quick victory.


From the start, the fighters traded punches as Dandois pushed forward, but Kunitskaya, sporting Muay Thai attire, kept her distance and landed crisp counterpunches. She staggered Dandois with a right hook, but Dandois regained her composure and gamely answered with a flurry of punches. A one-two and a right hook floored Dandois, however, and the referee intervened on her behalf. Dandois protested the stoppage, but her eyes were glazed over and she appeared to be unsteady upon standing up.

Winner: Yana Kunitskaya by TKO (Punches) at 0:34 of round one. She improves to 4-1-0.


For much of this year, Dandois has been the subject of speculation as many expected her to sign with Strikeforce. However, as contract negotiations continued between Strikeforce and Dandois’s fellow M-1 representative, Fedor Emelianenko, the Belgian judoka was left on the sidelines. With Kunitskaya’s upset victory today, she may take over Dandois’s place as a future Strikeforce signee for their small but improving 145-pound women’s division.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

  1. I am sorry but the referee is an idiot and the fight was stopped where it had to go on to give it a fight. We all know Dandois isnt à striker and she Will always go to the ground! This was a messed up decission and should be reviewed and have a rematch!

  2. I’ve rewatched it and I thought it was a legit stoppage. So did most others I spoke with. Cindy appeared to be wobbly when she first stood up and didn’t appear to know what had happened. No review necessary.

  3. I think she was more questioning WHY the fight was stopped, as she appeared to me to be ready to defend herself as soon as she hit the ground. Personally, I think the ref should have given her that opportunity and had Yana been able to land a couple more punches, then by all means stop it at that point.

  4. After hearing what Cindy posted on fightergirls, I think this is a damn shame…

  5. This fight was awful. Is this the girls everybody wanted to see fight Cyborg for the title. That fight would have been worse that Cyborg vs Finney. It would have been a massacre.