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UFC 244: Katlyn Chookagian to face Jennifer Maia in key flyweight bout at Madison Square Garden

Katlyn Chookagian kicks Irene Aldana during a mixed

Katlyn Chookagian kicks Irene Aldana during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 210, Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Buffalo. Photo Credit: AP/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Katlyn Chookagian won’t get the UFC flyweight title fight she’s been asking for just yet, but she’s getting an excellent chance to prove she deserves it.

Chookagian will face Jennifer Maia in a matchup of top contenders at 125 pounds at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden, the UFC announced Wednesday.

A Pennsylvania native currently based on Long Island, Chookagian is 12-2 professionally with a 5-2 mark in the UFC. Sitting at No. 2 in the official rankings, Chookagian is 3-1 since dropping down to flyweight in 2018, last facing Joanne Calderwood in a June unanimous decision victory.

Chookagian recently has called for a fight with current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, and she has a pretty good argument. The only losses of her career came against Liz Carmouche and Jessica Eye, both of whom received title shots against Shevchenko in the last few months. The champion last defended her title on Aug. 10, beating Carmouche in dominant fashion.

Chookagian didn’t get the title fight, but she won’t have an easy task against Maia, currently No. 4 in the official flyweight rankings. A member of Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil, Maia is 17-5-1 in her career, including a 2-1 UFC mark, her only loss coming against Carmouche. Maia also is the former Invicta FC flyweight champion, a title she defended twice before signing with the UFC.

This will be the biggest fight of Chookagian’s career, but it won’t be her first time on the big stage of Madison Square Garden. “Blonde Fighter” competed in the first UFC fight following the legalization of professional MMA in New York State, losing to Carmouche in the opening preliminary bout of the night at UFC 205 in November 2016.

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