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Anastasia Yankova knows MMA’s key demo appreciates the beauty (of devastating headkicks)

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One of the more intriguing names competing in Bellator’s brand new kickboxing/MMA medley in Turin, Italy is Anastasia Yankova — a fighter-turned-model from Russia who is capable of both. She’ll face Anjela Pink in a mixed techniques bout on April 16 at Bellator 152.

Yankova, who is 25-years old, is a Muay Thai practitioner who is segueing into the cage; so far, she’s gone 2-0 in MMA. She was introduced to the American palate in Houston back in February, as part of the Bellator 149 festivities. To help make the transition, she’s been training with the likes of Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua — both of whom she credits as her lures to the sport to begin with — at Kings MMA in Los Angeles.

“I used to watch fights, and after practice would always stay behind in the gym and ask guys to show me different MMA moves,” Yankova told MMA Fighting via email. “MMA always intrigued me and I knew it was just a matter time before I stepped into the cage. At the time I had a contract with a kickboxing promotion in Russia so all of my time was dedicated to stand up training, which left little time to explore MMA.

“Luckily, I had a break in between my kickboxing fights and received an offer to try an MMA fight, I had adequate time to train so I took the opportunity, and after that fight I knew for certain I would return to the cage.”

Now she’s with Bellator, and she’ll be fighting on Spike TV from Pala Alpitour. In a sport that proudly boasts a key demographic of vibrant 18-34 year old males, Yankova’s first impression of course ran surface deep. She’s blonde. She’s fit. She doesn’t have scar tissue or ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting