Chookagian focused on wins over entertainment: 'Fans don't pay my bills'
Flyweight title challenger Katlyn Chookagian isn't feeling any pressure to put on an exciting fight against champion Valentina Shevchenko when they clash at UFC 247.
"I'm not going to go out there ... to do something crazy to be entertaining and then lose," Chookagian told theScore. "It's like, 'Oh you know, the fans think I'm entertaining.' It's like, 'Well, the fans don't pay my bills.' So if you lose, you don't get your full paycheck. So for me, that doesn't really bother me. I think the most important thing is winning."
Chookagian (13-2) has won five of her last six fights, including a decision victory over Jennifer Maia at UFC 244 in November. The 31-year-old has also never been finished in her professional or amateur career but says that streak is not something she thinks about.
"The thought of being finished doesn't even come in my mind, because I always focus on winning," Chookagian said. "There are people online, like, 'Oh, you gotta watch out for head kicks.' I'm like, 'I've knocked people out with head kicks, what do you mean?' (Shevchenko's) got to watch out just as much as me. I dropped Liz Carmouche with a head kick. (Shevchenko) didn't do that to her (in their fight)."
The New Jersey native added that she's expecting a five-round war against Shevchenko (18-3) and believes she'll gain the advantage as the fight goes on.
"I see it being a tough decision," Chookagian said. "I think my cardio is definitely gonna be a factor, especially if it goes into the later rounds. I see it either going into a decision with me winning or me winning by submission."
UFC 247 will take place on Feb. 8 at Toyota Center in Houston. Light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones will defend his title against Dominick Reyes in the main event.