UFC 262 - Chookagian vs Arajuo - Analysis and Prediction
Katlyn Chookagian vs Viviane Arajuo
Also on the main card is a match between two top 10 women’s flyweights. I tell you guys when a fight is going to be absolute fire and to make sure to tune in. Well this is probably not going to be that. Let’s take a look anyway and break it down.
Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian (15-4-0) has fought 12 times in the UFC going 8-4. She has never finished any of her UFC opponents but has been finished via TKO twice. She’s ranked 2nd in the division but is sort of at a crossroads as she already fought Valentina Shevchenko and got completely outclassed. Combine that with her very non fan friendly fighting style and it’s unlikely she ever gets another shot.
Viviane “Vivi” Arajuo (10-2-0) is sort of the new flyweight up and comer. She’s fought 5 times in the UFC so far going 4-1. Her one loss came to Jessica Eye but she passed the standardized flyweight litmus test in Roxanne Moddaferi back in January. She will give up 5 inches of height but will have an identical reach to her opponent in this one.
How They Match Up
“Blonde Fighter” posts one of the most dreadful striking accuracies I think I’ve ever seen at 34%. This is largely because she normally looks to exploit her usual reach advantage by standing very far away and spamming jabs, hoping her opponent will run into them. To make matters worse, she yells during every one of these strikes (the ole Kiai spamming). You’d be surprised to know that this strategy has worked on decent fighters more than once.
It’s also worth noting that when she was going up against Valentina Shevchenko’s sister, Antonia, she utilized takedowns to control the entire fight on route to an upset win. We haven’t really seen that strategy come back since that fight but she would be wise to utilize it here.
Arajuo has some decent striking with good head movement and footwork. She often will throw quick naked uppercuts or jabs from the hip that can surprise opponents. She has a great double leg takedown that really showcases her athleticism and if she mixes that in, she could very well steal some rounds. On the defensive wrestling side, if she does get taken down she gives up her back immediately to get back to her feet. This is a habit that I’m sure at some point she will pay for, but I don’t believe Chookagian is the fighter to do it.
On paper, with edges in striking, grappling, athleticism and takedown defense, this seems like it’s Arajuo’s fight to lose. However, we’ve seen Chookagian in this exact type of match up half a dozen times and she just finds a way to make the fight close and win over the judges. But without her usual reach and athletic advantages, I think the pendulum is going to swing the other way. I’m backing the underdog to land the more telling blows and be on the correct side of the judges' decision for this one.