Russian MMA star Yana Kunitskaya to sell 'gorgeous' bloodied UFC shirt to raise money for charity
Kunitskaya improved her professional record to 12-3 (1) (2-1 UFC) with a unanimous decision win against Reneau in Wichita, Kansas, last weekend, though a fracture she sustained to her nose in the final round left her looking like a character from a horror movie.
Streams of blood poured from the 29-year-old's nose in the bout's final moments, though Kunitskaya didn't appear to let the injury deflect from her strategy. Reflecting on the fight, she said that she intends to sell her white (and now red) UFC apparel on an online auction site to raise money for a charitable cause.Also on rt.com 'You think it's funny?' Shocking before & after of UFC star Kunitskaya's grisly broken nose (VIDEO)
"Tons of people contacted me asking if they could buy my shirt," Kunitskaya told Russian sports outlet match.tv.
"They don’t mention any specific amounts, just asking me what the price is. So I think I will put it up for charity auction, because now it looks gorgeous."
Unique items such as this have been known to raise large amounts at auction, with items like this listed on websites such as eBay for sums in excess of €2,000 ($2,246).
Kunitskaya said she found out that her nose would require surgery when her coach told her after the fight that "it went to the side."
"I immediately broke down in tears, because I didn't think it was visible," she explained.
"Then they explained to me that these surgeries are done regularly, and it wouldn't be noticeable. Then I realized that I won the fight. Probably, it would have been harder if I'd received such an injury and, after all that, lost. But the coach began to cheer me up, making me laugh, and I finally calmed down. As they say, winners don't feel pain."
That doesn't necessarily apply to the extended Kunitskaya family, though. The fighter made a point of contacting her mother immediately after the fight to reassure her that she was not in medical danger and, while she says that her mother was unaffected, it wasn't quite the same story for her sister.
"Mom surprisingly responded positively. I thought she would be worried, but I texted her right away, because I knew that she was watching [the fight], and she said that the main thing was my victory and that such surgeries are done pretty often now, there is nothing terrible about them. But my sister, who works as a makeup artist, she reacted more sensitively. I was told that she was crying."
Perhaps the most frustrating element of this injury from Kuntiskaya's own perspective is that it will likely delay her return to the octagon while her nose heals. Current Bellator champion Rory MacDonald suffered a similar nose injury in his 2016 fight, which restricted him to just one fight in a two-year span. While an absence of that length would be crippling for Kunitskaya's momentum in the UFC bantamweight division, she says that she will make sure her nose is fully healed before she competes again.
"I believe that there may be a maximum period of six months [of absence due to the injury]," she said. "Because it is necessary that everything is well healed and restored," she added.