The first of the three title fights for UFC 261 kicked off with Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jéssica Andrade, live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jéssica Andrade’s dismantling of Katlyn Chookagian at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie looked like it was enough to earn a shot at the champ Valentina Shevchenko. With the move up in weight, Andrade appeared to bring an unstoppable power to the division – and what a way to showcase that you are ready for being in a new division with your second fight coming against the current champ.
Since capturing the vacant UFC women’s Flyweight title back in 2018 at UFC 231, a fight that saw her go the distance against Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Valentina Shevchenko has been on a tear, wanting to solidify her status and legacy within the UFC as one of the best champions the sport has ever seen. With four title defenses, she was certainly on her way to proving that statement is not just talk. A win over a former champ like Jéssica Andrade, who is known to have some brutal finishes inside the Octagon, would further her legacy as one of the greats.
The Jacksonville crowd was clearly behind Valentina Shevchenko with their chants of “VALENTINA” on Saturday. Shevchenko used a tight body lock and once locked in, she continued to take Jéssica Andrade down at will. Valentina even shut down the one area that Andrade was supposedly advantageous in – the wrestling – setting up the crucifix, dropping elbows and punches until ref Dan Miragliotta stepped in to stop the fight in the second round.
PROS GIVE THEIR TAKE
Here is how the pros reacted to Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jéssica Andrade.
— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) April 25, 2021
Absolutely perfection!! #UFC261
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) April 25, 2021
What a performance! #ufc261
— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) April 25, 2021
Valentina is NEXT LEVEL GOOD
— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) April 25, 2021
She’s tooo good man. #ufc261
— Mallory Martin (@MalloryyMartin) April 25, 2021
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) April 25, 2021
Valentina is such a beast #ufc261
— Niko Price (@Nikohybridprice) April 25, 2021
Valentina just doesn’t make mistakes
— Eryk Anders (@erykanders) April 25, 2021
She beats figueredo
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 25, 2021
Shevchenko/Nunes III is the fight to make 🤷🏻♂️🤷🏻♂️
— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) April 25, 2021
Spoiler alert: in case you didn’t know, nobody is beating Shevchenko right now.
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) April 25, 2021
so @danawhite @ufc hear me out. Shevchenko vs nunes 3 at 135. but if bullet wins she wins the 135 and 145 title. first triple champ. will it happen probs not cause nunes is beast. but would watch #UFC261live
— Jesse Ronson (@Ronsoff) April 25, 2021