Valentina Shevchenko will be making her first appearance of 2021 as she will look to defend her title against Jessica Andrade on April 24.
The best female flyweight in the world will be back in action this Spring. On Wednesday morning, ESPN reported that Valentina Shevchenko will be defending her title against Jessica Andrade on April 24. The fight will be part of an expected pay-per-view, UFC 261, and UFC President Dana White has previously mentioned that plans to hold the event in Asia are close to completion — although that appears to be up in the air.
Valentina Shevchenko (20-3) is looking to extend her dominance after running roughshod over the flyweight division since dropping down to the weight class in 2018. After winning the vacant title by defeating former strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Shevchenko has recorded four title defenses with victories over Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Katlyn Chookagian, and Jennifer Maia. The fight with Andrade, should it be the main event, will be Shevchenko’s first time headlining a pay-per-view.
Jessica Andrade (21-8) will be looking to win a title in her second weight class after previously winning the strawweight title in 2019. A veteran of the UFC since 2013, Andrade has excelled as a strawweight with victories over perennial contenders Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. After splitting a pair of fights with Rose Namajunas that included winning and losing the UFC title, Andrade elected to move up to flyweight where she debuted last October with a first round finish of former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian.
No other fights for the event have been officially announced for the UFC 261 card, however a handful of match-ups have been reported. Those include a light heavyweight match-up between Anthony Smith and Australia’s Jimmy Crute.