29-Year-Old UFC Bantamweight 14-3-0
September 13, 2017 Valentina Shevchenko News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Shevchenko told Luke Thomas of Sirius XM and MMAFighting.com that her next fight will be in the newly-created flyweight division.
Shevchenko is coming off a narrow, split-decision loss to Amanda Nunes, but rather than dwell on a fight in which she felt a bit slighted by the judges, the 29-year-old is already planning her next career move. The 125-pound division may be the better long-term home for "Bullet," as she found herself at both a height and reach disadvantage in her title opportunity against Nunes. It will surely be a bit of a tougher weight cut, though Shevchenko wasn't cutting a whole lot at bantamweight, so it's not like she'll be completely depleting herself each fight week. The flyweight division will crown an inaugural champion at the conclusion of season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter, but few on the reality show can come even close to both the Muay Thai striking and experience of Shevchenko.
Valentina Shevchenko: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisThis was a bout that was very technical and slow paced with both women's strengths canceling each other's out. It was also a very difficult fight to score with virtually every single round being close. Round 1 was Shevchenko's worst. It took her several minutes to find her rhythm and even then she had difficulty putting combinations together. Thankfully for "Bullet," Nunes was having the same issue. Shevchenko also went for a needless headlock in Round 5 that failed and allowed Nunes to briefly take her back. Shevchenko won the total strike count by a count of 209-180 and an argument can be made that she won, but the truth of the matter is that this fight was as close as the scorecards would lead you to believe. The bottom line is that there is virtually no separation between these two women.
Fantasy AnalysisShevchenko and Nunes were originally supposed to fight for the belt at UFC 213 on July 8, but the fight was called off after Nunes was sent to the hospital due to illness. As expected, a rematch was eventually scheduled, and the two will now help set the table for a main event matchup between Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg. Shevchenko had been a slight betting favorite on the day of the original contest, so expect similar odds leading up to the rematch. Both women are high-volume strikers, which could lead to plenty of opportunities to post fantasy points.
Fantasy AnalysisShevchenko will not have the opportunity to take the bantamweight title from Nunes on Saturday, as an illness has rendered Nunes unable to compete. A rematch will likely be scheduled for a time when Nunes has regained her strength.
Fantasy AnalysisShevchenko will attempt to take the bantamweight title from the formidable Amanda Nunes, who she suffered a loss to in March 2016 (unanimous decision). She does have a 60 percent strike defense, which she'll need with Nunes landing twice as many significant strikes on average (4.69 to 2.48). However, since their matchup "The Bullet" has taken down Holly Holm and Julianna Pena to gain a 14-2 record (3-1 UFC).
Fantasy AnalysisUFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes entered the cage after the fight, which pretty much ensures that Shevchenko is getting the next shot at the title. She deserves it. For a long time, Shevchenko was known as a striker and not much else, but she has proven that she has plenty of other skills inside the cage. She scored two takedowns in Round 1 and did a terrific job of using her upper-body strength to keep Pena pinned to the mat. Shevchenko spent almost all of Round 2 on her back, but she showed that she is capable of attacking and finishing a fight despite the fact she is in a disadvantageous position. Valentina entered the company in December 2015 with little fanfare, but she has gone 3-1 during her time in the UFC with the only loss coming less than a year ago to Nunes. The rematch is coming to an arena near you later this year.
Fantasy AnalysisIn her last two fights, Shevchenko was defeated by current champion Amanda Nunes, but then bounced back against former champion Holly Holm. She's generally known as a Muay Thai specialist, but does own five submission victories in 15 professional bouts. Regardless, her Muay Thai background should help her rack up strikes throughout a three-round fight, which usually leads to strong fantasy production. If Shevchenko emerges victorious against the No. 3-ranked Pena, logic would dictate that she'd get the next shot at women's bantamweight champion, which will be decided by a Dec. 30 bout between Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey.
Fantasy AnalysisThe Kyrgyzstan native is coming off a huge unanimous decision victory over Holly Holm in July and is now rewarded with a a contract for seven fights that will likely span the next several years. The 28-year-old is reportedly vying for a rematch with Amanda Nunes which could end up being the first fight she makes with her deal.
Fantasy AnalysisHolm's kickboxing credentials are extraordinary, but even she couldn't defeat the 17-time world Muay Thai champion. Shevchenko started slowly before finding her rhythm. As the much smaller of the two women, she did an excellent job of keeping Holm off balance and forcing her to continuously move if she had any hopes of landing significant combinations. In Rounds 4 and 5, Shevchenko also showed off her power when she easily won the grappling exchanges between the two women along the fence. This is an upset when you take into account that Holm was the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion a mere four-plus months ago, but anyone who has watched Valentina in the past knows how truly talented she is. Bullet may need to eventually move away from her adopted home of Lima, Peru in order to train with a more competitive team, but she's an easy top-five bantamweight at this point.
Fantasy AnalysisSeven months after making her UFC debut, Shevchenko is headlining a FOX card. She fought well in her first fight against Sarah Kaufman before being bested by current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes in March. Shevchenko is a Muay Thai specialist with an underrated, but limited ground game, so it seems likely that she will be content with engaging Holm in a kickboxing match. On the surface, that seems like a terrible idea, but Shevchenko is good enough to keep the fight competitive. She's a deserved underdog, yet this fight is closer than most people think.
Fantasy AnalysisShevchenko had rattled off five straight professional victories, including a win over Sarah Kaufman in her UFC debut, prior to suffering a unanimous-decision defeat to Amanda Nunes on March 5. Now, Nunes will go on to challenge Miesha Tate for the bantamweight title at UFC 200 in July, while Shevchenko gets a tough draw against a former champion. Holm will likely be the favorite in this fight due to her superior cardio and stand-up game, but Shevchenko just may have a chance if she can get this fight to the mat. Holm's only professional loss came by submission, and Shevchenko has five submission victories on her professional resume.
Fantasy AnalysisA slow start cost Shevchenko this fight. She was suspiciously inactive for the first five minutes and she spent virtually the entire second round getting controlled on the mat. Shevchenko really turned up the pace, clearly winning the final frame, but it was too little too late. Shevchenko is an elite striker, but her ground game clearly needs improvement. She trains with no fighters of note in her adopted home country of Peru and you have to wonder if that will hurt her moving forward. Shevchenko is pretty clearly one of the ten best female bantamweights in the world, but this fight proves that her game has a lot of room for growth.
Fantasy AnalysisShevchenko looked very strong in her UFC debut against Sarah Kaufman in December and as a result she is just a modest underdog again one of the better fighters in the women’s bantamweight division. A multiple time world Muay Thai champion, Shevchenko has a real chance to find herself ranked as a top-five fighter if she can pull off the upset. Overall, Shevchenko has won five fights in a row and her only career loss is against UFC veteran Liz Carmouche. The only concern here is that outside of Kaufman and Carmouche, Shevchenko has faced poor competition for virtually her entire career. On the main card of a pay-per-view, Saturday will be by far the biggest moment of Shevchenko’s young MMA career.
Fantasy AnalysisMaking her UFC debut on eight days notice, Shevchenko took out the former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion. Shevchenko is known for her Muay Thai skills, but she proved to be considerably stronger than Kaufman and while she didn't really go for any submissions on the ground, she had plenty of top control time. It's shows the state of the women's 135-pound division when a fighter that is virtually unknown can come in and defeat one of the better known fighters in the world. RotoWire scored the fight 29-28 for the debuting Shevchenko. She deserved to win.