UFC Fight Night: Back Holly Holm to KO Valentina ShevchenkoPublished July 21, 2016
The UFC returns to the Windy City of Chicago on Saturday where the feature Women’s Bantamweight bout between former Champion Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko is set to be an intriguing battle between two highly decorated strikers.
Shevchenko won 58 of her 61 kickboxing fights before taking up MMA, landing many coveted prizes in Muay Thai including a notable win over UFC Strawweight Champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk. If you fancy the Russian, she is a 3/1 underdog with Betfair but isn’t to be underestimated.
Looking to get back into the win column after dropping her title in her first defense against Miesha Tate in March, Holly Holm makes her return to the cage against fellow stand up fighter Shevchenko in a fight that could propel Holm straight into another title shot. With Amanda Nunes now at the top and Ronda Rousey nowhere in sight, the door is wide open for “The Preacher’s Daughter” to impress this weekend and earn another title opportunity.
Of course, this is the biggest fight of Shevchenko’s career and an upset win over a bona fide superstar would throw her straight into contention to be next in line. After the devastating performance of Amanda Nunes art UFC 200 when finishing Tate, the division is truly as fluid and unpredictable as it gets.
Holly Holm will surely feel she left her first defence against Miesha Tate behind her however, having dominated three of the preceding four rounds before getting caught in a deep rear naked choke late on in the fifth and final round. Holm is an experienced professional and she took this loss on the chin. She could have sat on the belt and waited for the Ronda rematch, but wanted to be active and took the risk against a dangerous Tate.
Holm faces a stern examination of her skills once again, against a hungry and dangerous up-and-comer. But given the experience she has now acquired from fighting Rousey and Tate, this is an opportunity for the Jackson Winkeljohn fighter to really showcase her talent and show the world she is the best in the division. A TKO win would certainly underline her point.
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