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HOUSTON – Katlyn Chookagian says there was no tap on Saturday night.
The former UFC flyweight title challenger denies claims of having submitted in her bout against Viviane Araujo on the pay-per-view main card of UFC 262. Chookagian (16-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) defeated Araujo (10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) by unanimous decision.
In the second round of the contest, Araujo shined best, as she had Chookagian in compromising positions on bottom. One of those positions had the Brazilian on top with a one-arm guillotine held for several seconds, and Chookagian, scrambling to get out, appeared to have tapped out. The alleged tapout was seen multiple times on the broadcast replay and debated among UFC commentators.
Chookagian attempted to put an end to the debate when asked during her post-fight news conference.
“What submission?” Chookagian said when reporters mentioned the tapout claims. “You have to have your hands locked to have the submission. She had a headlock because she doesn’t know her jiu-jitsu. Yeah, no (there was no tap). You have to have a submission to get the tap. Definitely not.”
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The controversy didn’t stop there. Chookagian went out to outpoint the Brazilian, and many thought Araujo had done enough to get the nod from the judges.
“I felt I won the fight,” Chookagian said. “But, of course with decisions, I’ve always watched fights on Saturday for hours, and every fight card you see a decision that you’re like, ‘What?’ So there is always that little part of you that’s nervous, but I was confident that I thought I had won.”
As far as what’s next, “Blonde Fighter” is looking to keep building momentum now that she’s on a two-fight winning streak, having bounced back from her TKO loss to former UFC champion Jessica Andrade last October.
“I’ve been in this division since it opened,” Chookagian said. “I’ve beat No. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, so obviously I’ll fight anyone. But the one girl that’s in the top 10 that I haven’t fought is Alexa Grasso.
“Everyone talks about how good her boxing is and when I watch that, I get a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I think I have the best boxing in the division, so that fight interests me, but I’ll fight anyone. I don’t care.”