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UFC 255 fight card primer: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia

Get up to date on the co-main event of UFC 255 between flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and Jennifer Maia.

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Valentina Shevchenko (19-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) will aim to make the fourth consecutive defense of her women’s flyweight title this weekend against heavy underdog Jennifer Maia (18-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC). UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez airs live from the promotion’s APEX center in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, November 21th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7.00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. and early prelims kicking off at 6:30 p.m.

How do these two stack up?

Shevchenko: 32 years old | 5’5” | 66.5” reach

Maia: 31 years old | 5’11” | 70” reach

What have these two done recently?

Shevchenko: W - Katlyn Chookagian (TKO) | W - Liz Carmouche (DEC) | W - Jessica Eye (KO)

Maia: W - Joanne Calderwood (SUB) | L - Katlyn Chookagian (DEC) | W - Roxanne Modafferi (DEC)

How did these two get here?

Since winning the inaugural UFC flyweight title against Joanna Jedrzejcyk in December 2018, Shevchenko has defended her title three times and put on dominant performances in each fight. After knocking out Jessica Eye with a head kick, Shevchenko then won a decision against Liz Carmouche. In February of this year at UFC 247, “Bullet” stopped Katlyn Chookagian in another fight in which she was a massive favourite. The flyweight champion is undoubtedly one of the most dominant champions currently in the UFC.

It’s not surprising that Maia enters this fight with Shevchenko as almost a +1000 underdog. The Brazilian has gone 3-2 during her current stint in the promotion. Both of Maia’s losses have come to opponents that Shevchenko has already beaten with relative ease. Maia essentially leapfrogged Joanne Calderwood for the title fight after defeating her by submission in August.

Why should you care?

Although it’s hard to see a way for her to win, Maia does have a lot of experience under her belt and shouldn’t be completely written off.