Yana Kunitskaya is going to be taking some time away from the octagon.
The No. 6 ranked UFC bantamweight contender teased her pregnancy on Sunday. On April 1, Kunitskaya and her partner, UFC light heavyweight Thiago Santos, announced a fake pregnancy for April Fool’s Day. MMA Fighting has confirmed that this time the announcement is legitimate.
“Did I eat to much watermelon? 😅” Kunitskaya posted on Twitter. “Good job @TMarretaMMA. I will be back in octagon 2022”
Yana Kunitskaya (14-6) fought as recently as July 10 at UFC 264 when taking on Mexico’s Irene Aldana. The Murmansk native would suffer a first-round TKO loss thus snapping a two-fight winning streak.
Santos replied to his partner’s tweet with four emojis; “🦁🦊🐣🐥”
So Yana Kunitskaya was in a fight taking shots to the body last month and with the timeline she had to be fighting pregnant right ? pic.twitter.com/wYxmJZq0LB
— Jason Williams (@jasoneg33) August 16, 2021
“Foxy” made her UFC debut fresh off the heels of a brief stint as Invicta FC bantamweight champion. Debuting on short notice against the then featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino, Kunitskaya lost via first-round TKO at 3:25. She has since gone 4-2 with wins over the likes of Ketlen Vieira, Marion Reneau, Lina Lansberg, and fellow former Invicta titleholder Julija Stoliarenko.
As for Brazil’s Santos, “Marreta” is next scheduled to square off with Johnny Walker in the main event of UFC’s Oct. 2 fight night event. The location of the card remains to be determined.
Kunitskaya’s hiatus from the 135-pound weight class will further thin out an already scarce landscape of contenders. Two-division champion, Amanda Nunes has defeated the majority of the challengers at both featherweight and bantamweight. Current exceptions would be expected next title challenger Julianna Pena along with the aforementioned Aldana and the returning Aspen Ladd.
Regardless, we congratulate Kunitskaya and Santos on the start of their family together.