Tonya Evinger: ‘I Don’t See Myself Being in Danger’ in Yana Kunitskaya Rematch

Last November Yana Kunitskaya shocked many when she was able to defeat Tonya Evinger for the Invicta FC bantamweight championship in just under two minutes by submission. But it didn’t last long.

Shortly after the fight, Evinger was able to appeal the outcome, which was soon upheld, ruling the bout a No Contest and giving her the Invicta title back. Now, four months later, Evinger is set to face Kunitskaya once more to settle their issues for good.

“I was trying to get on that last Invicta card (in January) and wanted to get it over with, but I don’t think Invicta ever planned on this happening, so it wasn’t able to happen on the last card,” Evinger told MMAWeekly.com. “To get it done and get it over with is great. I’m happy to be back in action and not sitting on the sidelines too long.”

Kunitskaya is understandable upset by what has happened since November, and has made no qualms in voicing her disapproval of how things turned out. Though annoyed by her opponent’s talk, Evinger is able to put aside personal feelings and view their rematch as just another fight.

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“They posted a video on (Kunitskaya) and I talking, and man, she has a mouth on her after I got my belt back,” said Evinger. “I’m definitely able to pull myself out of the fight and just fight and perform like I know how to.

“I don’t think any of this stuff – even with her running her mouth this time – has any effect on me. It makes me a little mad, but I’ve seen this in almost every camp. My opponent usually has a lot of stuff to say, and what she wants to do to me, so I’m used to this stuff.”

Tonya EvingerWhen Evinger (18-6) defends her Invicta title against Kunitskaya (9-2) in the 135-pound main event of Saturday’s show in Kansas City, Missouri, she says there won’t be any difference in how she approaches this bout than any other she’s had before.

“My style is the type that if you make something a little bit too hard, that’s fine, I’ll keep beating on you until you give me what I want,” Evinger said. “You see a lot of my fights go to the second round. I don’t try to overly push something and get in danger or make mistakes by doing something wrong. It’s the same way I always do.

“We were in there like two minutes (in the first fight), so there’s a lot to take in consideration for that amount of time. I definitely know she wasn’t as close to being as strong as me. I don’t really see myself being in danger unless I put myself in danger.”

With 11 years and nearly 30 fights to her credit, Evinger may tire of the process of preparing for fights, but enjoys where she’s at now, and doesn’t see any end to her career anytime soon.

“Every fight is always my last because I hate cutting weight,” said Evinger. “I tell myself every fight that this is it, to fight my ass off because this is it, but after each fight I feel like sign me up (for more).

“I’m in a great place in Invicta. I’m a world champion. I’ve got a nice winning streak. I fight for a promotion I have a lot of respect for. I’m in the right place. I’m not trying to overlook where I’m at. I just want to win and stay focused in reality.”

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