The first of three title fights at UFC 261 will feature women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (20-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) attempting to defend her belt against Jessica Andrade (21-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC). UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2 airs live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida this Saturday, April 24th. 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 the early prelims kicking off at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Shevchenko: 33 years old | 5’5” | 66.5” reach
Andrade: 29 years old | 5’2” | 62” reach
How did these two get here?
Shevchenko: W - Jennifer Maia (DEC) | W - Katlyn Chookagian (TKO) | W - Liz Carmouche (DEC)
Namajunas: W - Jessica Andrade (DEC) | L - Jessica Andrade (KO) | W - Joanna Jedrzejczyk (DEC)
What have these two done recently?
Since winning her flyweight title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2018. Valentina Shevchenko has dominated every opponent put in front of her. She faces arguably her toughest challenge yet in Andrade, as the Brazilian possesses power that none of Shevchenko’s previous opponents had. Shevchenko has not lost a fight since losing a split decision to current two-weight champion Amanda Nunes in 2017.
Despite going 1-2 in her last three fights, Andrade’s stoppage win against former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian along with the lack of flyweight contenders was enough to warrant her a title shot against Shevchenko. The Brazilian suffered defeats to strawweight champion Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas (who will both also meet at UFC 261) before her recent win against Chookagian.
Why should you care?
The skill and speed of Shevchenko against the power of Andrade will make for a fascinating fight.