One to Watch at UFC Vegas 7: Mariya Agapova

Mariya Agapova (9-1) quickly returns to the octagon on August 22 at UFC Vegas 7, following an incredible submission win in June. She took a short-notice bout against gritty grappler Hannah Cifers and thoroughly outstruck her opponent with punches and kicks. Cifers got desperate for a takedown and paid by tapping to Agapova’s rear-naked choke. The flyweight can shoot up the rankings with another impressive finish against Ultimate Fighter veteran Shana “Danger” Dobson (3-4).

Mariya was born and raised in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, a northern border city with a reputation for frigid temperatures. Growing up she didn’t have much to do but go to school and train boxing for seven years from age 13 to 20. Agapova was on the Kazakh national team and her eyes were aptly set on the Olympic prize. However, the coaching she wanted and needed wasn’t there and turned to MMA. She walked into the doors of Akhmat Fight Club, a famed Russian gym in Dagestan, now franchising out to places like Pavlodar.

Agapova has been fighting professionally since 2015 at the age of 18, and she’s already accomplished a ton of firsts in the sport. She made one half of Brave CF’s first-ever women’s fight from 2017 in her home country, earning a round one TKO. Mariya moved up to the Contender Series in 2019 after winning six in a row to start MMA. She suffered her first loss, getting out grappled to a decision for the first and only time in her career. She learned her BJJ lesson and came back stronger, reeling off two finishes in top Women’s promotion Invicta FC.  Agapova then earned a UFC contract in 2020, becoming the first woman from Kazakhstan to ever grace the octagon.

The boxer turned MMA flyweight is now 1-0 in the UFC after destroying Hannah Cifers in June with her striking, en route to the first frame submission. The 23-year-old from Pavlodar earned $50,000 for her performance and looks like an intriguing title prospect in a shallow 125 lb. division. She can climb into the rankings with another “Performance of the Night” Finish at UFC Vegas 7 on Saturday, August 22.

Mariya Agapova | 9-1 | 5’6 125 lbs. | Age 23 | Reach 68” | Southpaw Stance | Fighting Out of Coconut Creek, Florida

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Fighter profile courtesy of Tapology.com > Mariya Agapova

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