Pros React to Valentina Shevchenko’s Flyweight Title Defense at UFC 255

Valentina Shevchenko UFC 255 weigh-in
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 20: Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan poses on the scale during the UFC 255 weigh-in at UFC APEX on November 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC’s women’s Flyweight championship was on the line in the co-main spot at UFC 255, with Valentina Shevchenko looking to defend her title against Jennifer Maia. The Brazilian was able to take this opportunity to fight for Valentina’s title out from under Joanne Calderwood thanks to an upset win at UFC Vegas 5 earlier this year.

Jennifer Maia’s journey to this co-main event was a story of overcoming the odds, after missing weight twice in her past three fights, and winning only two of her last three. Conversely, she stepped into the co-main event at UFC 255 with nothing to lose. Even after dethroning a contender like Joanne Calderwood, her underdog spirit made this fight very dangerous for the current champ. And it showed, with Maia one of the few fighters to win a round against “Bullet.”

For Valentina Shevchenko’s bulletproof legacy inside the division to continue, she knew making a statement against Maia was necessary. After all, she entered the fight a -1600 favorite in the oddsmakers eyes, a number that ballooned to -3300 at one point.

Valentina Shevchenko switched it up with a new game plan of grappling early at UFC 255, looking for takedowns on Jennifer Maia. However, Maia appeared more than up to the challenge, and spent a good amount of time in control herself. But the power on the feet from Valentina after the second round seemed to allow her to take control of the fight, leading her to a unanimous decision against the durable Jennifer Maia. Shevchenko reminded us that it is going to be hard to dethrone the Queen anytime soon.

Here is how the pros reacted to the UFC’s women’s Flyweight title fight at UFC 255.


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