It was a razor-close fight, but Chookagian (18-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) proved to have the more effective striking over three rounds, and it likely made the difference in a split decision win over Ribas (11-3 MMA , 5-2 UFC) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The judges’ scores were 28-29 for Ribas and a pair of 29-28 cards for Chookagian.
It was a closely contested bout from beginning to end. Chookagian stayed at range and looked to counter strike, while Ribas was adamant to apply pressure with forward movement and combinations at every possible opportunity.
Ribas got critical takedowns in the first two rounds and accumulated more than four minutes of ground control overall. Chookagian landed some powerful shots on her advancing opponent on the feet, and managed to avoid any truly dangerous situations on the mat.
The fight turned into a slugfest in the final round. It unfolded almost entirely on the feet, and it went tit-for-tat in terms of power shots and volume.
Ultimately Chookagian was rewarded for her work, and left with a win that saw her surpass reigning champion Valentina Shevchenko for most in divisional history.
Chookagian has won five of six fights since losing to Shevchenko by third-round TKO at UFC 247 in February 2020, and she wants a rematch.
“It’s like a broken record,” Chookagian said in her post-fight interview with Michael Bisping. “I want the title shot. Obviously I want my second shot at Valentina. But I just want to stay active. .. Any girl I haven’t fought.”