Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
The flyweights battled it out for three rounds with Chookagian’s striking being the deciding factor, as she connected with the better shots while Ribas constantly looked to take the fight to the ground. In the end, Chookagian produced more offense and that led to two judges scoring the fight 29-28 in her favor, with the third official going 29-28 for Ribas.
“To be honest, I kind of blacked out. I was just fighting,” Chookagian said. “I think you’re always confident in yourself. I was sure that I won but decision are never confident. I get a lot of slack because I go to decisions, but I hope that was a good one.”
When the fight started, Ribas was quick to close the distance and put Chookagian down on the canvas with a slick head-and-arm throw that brought the fight into her world on the ground. Chookagian defended well and eventually scrambled free with a nice reversal that brough the flyweights back to the feet.
Working at a distance, Chookagian cranked up the volume as she threw punches in succession, with Ribas struggling to do the same in return. While Chookagian will never be mistaken for a knockout striker, she tagged Ribas on the chin and didn’t allow the Brazilian to set up much of anything in the exchanges.
Chookagian continued with her high output on the feet until Ribas managed another takedown as she looked to slow down the one-time flyweight title contender. Despite Ribas’ best efforts to keep the fight on the floor, Chookagian was able to stay patient until she could slip free to get back to the feet.
With Ribas struggling with her striking defense, Chookagian took advantage with couple of stiff punches finding a home on the Brazilian’s chin.
Chookagian continued to land with better accuracy and volume, but Ribas stood in the pocket and challenged her in the exchanges. Still, Ribas ate far more strikes than she offered in return, and that was really the story of the fight.
After signing a new deal to remain with the UFC, Chookagian is now hoping to build on her four wins in a row by climbing back into title contention in the near future.
“I want the title shot,” Chookagian said. “I want my second shot at Valentina for the title. [I want] any girl I haven’t fought — if Miesha Tate wins, Alexa Grasso, that French chick [Manon Fiorot] can get it, anyone.”