UFC 261 Fight Breakdown: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at one of three title fights on UFC 261, a five-round UFC women’s flyweight title bout between champion Valentina Shevchenko and challenger Jessica Andrade. The event takes place on Saturday, April 24 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Valentina Shevchenko (-420)

Shevchenko (20-3) is the UFC women’s flyweight champion. The 33-year-old Kyrgyzstan joined the UFC in 2015 and since then she has racked up an overall record of 9-2 in the Octagon. Shevchenko has beaten many of the best women’s fighters in the UFC, including Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Julianna Pena, Holly Holm, Jessica Eye, and Liz Carmouche. Her only two losses in the UFC came against UFC women’s double champion Amanda Nunes, and both were close decision defeats. Since moving down to 125lbs in 2018, Shevchenko has gone a perfect 6-0 and has been dominating everyone in her path. Shevchenko is extremely well-rounded which makes her a nightmare matchup for everyone in the flyweight division. She has incredible striking skills but also high-level grappling which makes her difficult to match up against. Shevchenko almost always enjoys the status of being a big betting favorite and she finds herself in that position here yet again against the tough Andrade.

Jessica Andrade (+335)

Andrade (21-8) is the No. 1 contender in the UFC women’s flyweight division. The 29-year-old Brazilian joined the UFC back in 2013 and has since then gone 12-6 while fighting in three different weight classes. She has defeated a number of the top women’s fighters in the UFC including Rose Namajunas, Angela Hill, Tecia Torres, and Joanne Calderwood. Andrade is extremely aggressive on the feet and that’s what makes her fun to watch. She is constantly moving forward throwing punches and she packs a lot of heat in her shots. She is very tough and hard to put away, having gone the distance on numerous occasions in the UFC. She is not a big flyweight, which could give her problems while going up against someone as big and strong as Shevchenko. Andrade always has a puncher’s chance in her fights, but when it comes to the complete mixed martial arts game, Shevchenko appears to be more well-rounded, which is why you see Andrade as a big underdog.

Fight Breakdown: While I do see Andrade putting up more resistance than some of Shevchenko’s other opponents, I don’t think she will win this fight. Shevchenko is just too well-rounded that even if Andrade is having success with her on the feet, Shevchenko can just use her wrestling to bail her out if she is having trouble with Andrade’s pressure on the feet. Shevchenko has never shown any issues with her chin so I feel like knocking her out is going to be tough to do. The bigger question for me is, does Shevchenko finish this fight or does it go the distance? I’m feeling a stoppage in this one, as I just feel like Andrade will slow down the longer the fight goes. Should be a good fight for as long as it lasts but I can’t see this fight ending any other way than with Shevchenko getting the win.

Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko

Written by Adam Martin.

MMAOB’s Nick Kalikas talks UFC 261 on ESPN’s new MMA betting show


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