Interview: Ahead of UFC 205 Katlyn Chookagain talks Carmouche, NY MMA, boxing roots and more

New Jersey’s Katlyn Chookagain will finally realize a life long time dream of fighting at Madison Square Garden as she is preparing to face long time veteran of the sport Liz Carmouche at UFC 205 in November.

On a card that currently has very little native fighters on it; undefeated promotional new comer Katlyn Chookagain (8-0) was a welcome addition to the promotions first trip to the city. Coming off of a successful short notice debut against Lauren Murphy in July, the 27-year old has pulled a tough second assignment in Liz Carmouche (10-5) who has not been in action since her own win over Lauren Murphy in April of 2015.

“Her name doesn’t bother me,” Chookagain told in an exclusive interview. “This a great opportunity for me no doubt about it but I would have taken anyone. Fighting at MSG has always been a dream of mine and when I was 20-years old I lost out on the opportunity to fight there, but now 7-years later I do. I’m the only girl on the UFC roster from the East Coast so I knew I was going to get on UFC 205. There were no fights announced for like eight and a half weeks and then I got the call. It’s an awesome feeling.”

A long time veteran of the sport that has seen her compete under the Strikeforce, Invicta FC and now UFC banner, Liz Carmouche is a name that is well-known among fans and fellow fighters around the world. With that being said Chookagain feels that she is the better fighter and will out of MSG victorious.

“She’s a well-rounded fighter but so are most of the girls,” Chookagain said. “But the advantage goes to me because I am more well rounded. I’m a Renzo Gracie brown belt, I have the striking advantage too. I’ve been boxing (Golden Gloves) since I was 16 so me as a whole, I am more well rounded. No matter what I am winning this fight, on the ground, on the feet I have the advantage. If I can get it done with one punch, get a bonus and get out of there and onto the next then I am happy but either way I am leaving the winner.”

Undoubtedly going into the biggest fight of her young career, Chookagain feels no extra pressure and is excited to get the chance to live a lifelong dream of fighting inside Madison Square Garden.

“Yes this is a big fight but they’re all big fights now,” Chookagain said. “I don’t feel any extra pressure or any extra nerves going into this one. I will feel the same nerves in the back as I did for all my previous fights. I am on the same card as some of my teammates and I get to fight and train at home so the feeling is awesome. I am excited about this fight, it’s a huge opportunity for me not only to be on the same card as my friends and teammates but with a win I get one step closer to my goal of becoming champion. I want to fight as often as possible, keep getting fights and improving. The goal is to be the champion and I will be champion.”

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