Mariya Agapova will have to go under the knife to fix a right knee ACL tear she sustained during her UFC on ESPN 15 defeat to Shana Dobson on Aug. 22, her manager Alex Davis told MMA Fighting.
Agapova was a huge favorite (-1400) going into the match, especially after the Kazakhstani flyweight dispatched Hannah Cifers in one round in June, but ended up losing to Dobson via second-round TKO.
The doctor will set a date for the procedure as soon as the American Top Team fighter recovers from a “minor infection,” Davis said.
As for Agapova’s upset in the octagon, Davis expects the 23-year-old to learn from it and continue to shine in the sport when she’s cleared to return to action.
“That’s part of the sport,” Davis told MMA Fighting. “She was on a huge rise, and I always say there are three phases in a fighter’s life: First, you enter the UFC; second, you start winning; and third, when you gain notoriety. It’s hard when you gain notoriety early on, and she has to restart now.
“She will naturally have a ton of success because she’s a warrior, but her life completely changed pretty quickly. She went from extreme poverty to having a normal life in a year and dealing with those emotions isn’t easy, having to deal with all the variables of learning to live in the United States and this new life, and that affected her a little bit.
“She was a bit too anxious for the fight and got too excited, but I think that’s normal, too. Losses are part of the sport and she will shine again soon, but we have to do this knee surgery first.”
Agapova, who now holds a 9-2 record as a professional MMA fighter, was on a three-fight winning streak in the UFC and Invicta FC prior to the setback.