The UFC has finalized a matchup for January that could prove to be a title eliminator in the women’s flyweight division. MMA.Idea was the first to report that the promotion has finalized a matchup between Katlyn Chookagian (16-4) and Jennifer Maia (19-7-1).
The matchup will take place at UFC 270 which is scheduled for January 15th. This is actually a rematch from UFC 244 in November of 2019. That night, Chookagian was able to get the best of Maia by winning a decision.
Since that defeat to Chookagian, Maia has gone 2-1 with her lone loss coming against the UFC champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Last August, Maia was presented a golden opportunity to fight Joanne Calderwood.
Calderwood was given a title shot, but due to an injury to Shevchenko, the fight was pushed back. Wanting to stay active, Calderwood asked the UFC for another fight. The promotion called Jennifer Maia and gave her the fight.
Maia was able to submit Calderwood in the first round to take away her UFC title shot. She would go on to lose to Shevchenko, but she bounced back against Jessica Eye back in July. Now, she’ll try to avenge her loss to Chookagian.
Second UFC title shot for Blonde Fighter?
Katlyn Chookagian is in a very tough spot in the flyweight division. I think most people would say that it’s clear that she’s the third best flyweight in the UFC. However, there’s a sizeable gap between her and the top two which makes her hard to push as a contender.
Since the start of 2019, Chookagian is 5-2 inside the octagon. She’s defeated Maia, Calderwood, Antonina Shevchenko, Cynthia Calvillo, and Viviane Araujo. However, sprinkled in between those wins are stoppage defeats at the hands of Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade.
Never the less, given the lack of challengers to Valentina Shevchenko’s brilliance, Chookagian is knocking on the door of another title shot. She’s won back-to-back fights since losing to Jessica Andrade on Fight Island last year.
If she’s able to defeat Jennifer Maia at UFC 270, her three consecutive wins might be enough to warrant another shot at the champion. Either way, this is a huge matchup for the landscape of 125 pounds.