Valentina Shevchenko has been the oddsmakers darling ever since she captured the UFC flyweight title. But Bullet will have to win her next fight with her shortest odds since beating Joana Jedrzejczyk for the gold.
According to online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag, Shevchenko is a -350 odds-on favorite to defend her title for the fifth consecutive time. She has never closed lower than +1000 at the best UFC betting sites during her first four title defenses, going up to as high as +2000 in her most recent one against Jennifer Maia. However, her next fight is supposed to be her toughest yet, at least according to the sportsbooks.
Shevchenko vs Andrade
Jessica Andrade’s opening odds of +275 when her UFC 261 flyweight title challenge against Shevchenko was announced last weekend was also the shortest for a Shevchenko opponent since Jedrzejczyk opened at +250 for UFC 251.
Odds for Shevchenko vs. Andrade:
Jessica Shevchenko -336
Jessica Andrade +275
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) February 24, 2021
Andrade is the 5th ranked female pound for pound fighter in the UFC and is the former UFC strawweight champion. Although the 29-year old Brazilian has fought only once at flyweight under the UFC, her Octagon debut at that weight class was impressive as she knocked out no. 2 flyweight Katlyn Chookagian inside one round at UFC Fight Island 6 last October.
Known as Bate Estaca, Andrade has won eight out of her last 11 UFC bouts with her losses coming at the hands of former strawweight champions Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas and current strawweight champion Zhang Weili.
She defeated Namajunas at UFC KO slam at UFC 237 to win the belt, only to lose it to Zhang via TKO in her next bout. Still, she has the experience, toughness, and physical ability to give Shevchenko a challenge she’s never faced before.
While Andrade is coming from a smaller weight class, she is a powerhouse fighter who owns wins over the likes of Namajunas, Raquel Penington, Angela Hill, Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She’s fought at flyweight before and has the physical tools to trouble the champion.
So Dominant at 125 Pounds
Valentina Shevchenko is the most decorated female combat sports athlete ever. The 32-year old Russian-Peruvian fighter is a multiple-time world champion in Muay Thai and kickboxing before transitioning to mixed martial arts. Known as Bullet, Shevchenko is currently the no. 2 ranked women’s pound for pound fighter in the UFC.
— Phil Murphy (@Phil_Sports) November 22, 2020
Shevchenko made a name for herself fighting naturally bigger opponents in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. In fact, she is the only fighter to come close to beating Amanda Nunes since the Lioness became champion, doing so twice. But since moving down to her natural weight of 125 pounds, Shevchenko has been dominant.
Bullet handily outpointed former champion Jedrzejczyk to win the flyweight title in 2018. Two of her title defenses ended in knockouts. She won the other two easily, via unanimous decision, losing just one of a total 10 rounds in the two title bouts. Betting-wise, she’s never closed at shorter than +1000 in all her title defenses.
This time could be different, at least as far as the oddsmakers are concerned. However, Shevchenko isn’t new to fighting opponents who are much stronger than her and she’s more than held her own against all sizes and styles. Shevchenko has beaten the likes of Holly Holm, Juliana Pena, Sarah Kaufman, Jessica Eye, and Liz Carmouche.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! …