Mariya Agapova got her UFC career back on track with a brilliant performance against Sabina Mazo on Saturday night – before taking aim at Ukrainian rival Maryna Moroz for allegedly slandering her name.
Kazakh flyweight Agapova, 24, endured an embarrassing upset in her previous trip to the Octagon in August of last year when she was stopped in the second round by America’s Shana Dobson.
But Agapova bounced back on Saturday night at the UFC Apex, producing a polished performance and finishing Colombian rival Mazo with a brilliant sequence in the third round.
After dropping Mazo with a big right hand, Agapova immediately locked in a rear-naked choke to submit her opponent.
Nice win for Agapova. pic.twitter.com/CRqw2CS6vo— MS (@UFC_Obsessed) October 9, 2021
Very redemptive performance from Agapova. Had a winning strategy and stuck to it. Right hand sends Mazo to the canvas and she IMMEDIATELY follows for a quick clamp of a rear naked choke.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) October 9, 2021
The impressive showing earned Agapova a Performance of the Night bonus and returned the highly-touted prospect to the win column – at the same time improving her career record to 10-2 overall.
Afterwards, Agapova had a clear idea of who she wanted to face next, training her sights on 30-year-old Ukrainian flyweight Moroz.
The reason? The festering bad blood between the pair after Moroz gave an incendiary interview earlier this year in which she accused her former American Top Team training partner of threatening behavior and even drug use.
Agapova is not about to let the issue lie – calling out ‘The Iron Lady’ in her post-fight Octagon interview and continuing to vent her anger at a press conference.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
“She’s jealous and sneaky, she’s trying to destroy my career,” fumed Agapova.
“I lost sponsorship because of her interview and got into really big trouble situation, I would like to punish this b*tch because she’s trying to destroy my career. I wanna smash her."
Agapova added: “We were teammates, and after I left she started lying and talking sh*t about me. I lost a lot of sponsors and fans.
“That was not nice, that was super sneaky. I left not because I was a drug addict. I left because I had an argument with some guy.
“She also cheated my manager of money, she f*ck him up. She’s not a good person. I’d like to beat her and smash her face.”
Moroz – who boasts a sideline with an OnlyFans-style website where she shares racy content with subscribers – was due to return to the Octagon on October 16 after a 19-month absence but was removed from her bout against Luana Carolina.
The Miami-based Ukrainian – who has 10-3 overall record and is 5-3 in the UFC – later rowed with fans who accused her of pulling out of yet another fight.
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“Are you stupid I did not refuse, I am healthy and continue to train,” raged the flyweight contender.
She also shared an Instagram post with followers, showing herself training and writing: “I am healthy and continue to prepare for the fight. I don't care who my [opponent] will be. I just want to fight.”
After her victory on Saturday night, Agapova would very much like Moroz’s next opponent to be her – and if the pair do cross paths, expect some serious fireworks.