MMA Ratings Podcast

August 12, 2019

UFC Uruguay: Valentina Shevchenko Looks Dominant At Flyweight, But There Are Still Plenty of Fresh Challengers

By Adam Martin

UFC Women's Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko continued her reign of dominance at 125 lbs this past Saturday night with a unanimous decision win over Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC Uruguay. Shevchenko shut out the challenger on the scorecards, winning 50-45 in the minds of all three judges. It wasn't the most exciting fight of Shevchenko's career, but it improved her record as a UFC flyweight to a perfect 4-0.

At this point, it looks like Shevchenko is destined to be a dominant flyweight champion for a long time. No one has been able to hurt her in her four flyweight fights so far. "Bullet" destroyed Priscila Cachoeira in her flyweight debut, then she won the belt against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a fight that wasn't close. She then brutally knocked out Jessica Eye with a jaw-dropping head kick at UFC 238, and this latest win over Carmouche in the pair's rematch showed once again that she's a step above her opposition at this weight class.

That being said, there are still plenty of fresh challenges for Shevchenko. Next up is likely a fight against top contender Katlyn Chookagian, who is 5-2 overall in the UFC, including a 3-1 mark as a flyweight. Chookagian is already on social media calling Shevchenko out, so you know she wants a piece of the champ. Also in the hunt as a new contender is former Invicta FC flyweight champion Jennifer Maia, who is 2-1 in the UFC and a winner of eight of her last nine fights. Other veterans vying for the title include Lauren Murphy and Viviane Araujo.

There are also some prospects looking to take the leap in their careers. Andrea Lee is riding a seven-fight win streak at the moment and is a perfect 3-0 in the UFC. If she beats Joanne Calderwood at UFC 242, you know she'll be calling for a title shot. The same goes for the young prospect Maycee Barber. She's only 21 years old, but Barber is already 2-0 in the UFC and a perfect 7-0 as a pro. Gillian Robertson is another youngster out there; she's just 24, but she has a great 4-1 record in the UFC and is closing in on the top 10. (There's really no point in mentioning Antonina Shevchenko, as she is extremely unlikely to fight her sister.)

So clearly, there are plenty of fresh challengers out there for Valentina Shevchenko right now, plenty of new faces for her to step into the Octagon and do the dance with. Shevchenko will likely be a huge favorite against anyone she fights, but there are enough potential opponents out there that Shevchenko seems likely to stick at 125 lbs and try to create a legacy for herself there. She wants a third fight with Amanda Nunes, but right now it just makes way more sense for Shevchenko to beat up on lesser opposition and try to become the Anderson Silva of the UFC women's flyweight division. That is, a dominant champion in a weak division, albeit one with plenty of contenders.

UFC on ESPN+ 14
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche (UFC Women's Flyweight Championship): Valentina Shevchenko def. Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45).

UFC on ESPN+ 14: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2 took place August 10, 2019 at Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Click HERE for more UFC on ESPN+ 14 Post-Fight Analysis

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