The co-main event of UFC 266 will feature a flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko (21-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Lauren Murphy (15-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC). UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega airs live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, September 25th. 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. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Shevchenko: 33 years old | 5’5” | 67” reach
Murphy: 38 years old | 5’5” | 68” reach
What have these two done recently?
Shevchenko: W - Jéssica Andrade (TKO) | W - Jennifer Maia (DEC) | W - Katlyn Chookagian (TKO)
Murphy: W - Joanne Calderwood (DEC) | W - Liliya Shakirova (SUB) | W - Roxanne Modafferi (DEC)
How did these two get here?
Valentina Shevchenko is one of the more dominant champions in the UFC right now, dispatching of challenger after challenger whenever she sets foot in the Octagon. The ‘Bullet’ has defended her flyweight title five times and will try to add another successful defense to her record on Saturday when she meets No. 3 ranked Lauren Murphy. She has continued to look unbeatable as evidenced by her performances against former champions and current contenders such as Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Jessica Eye and Jéssica Andrade in recent years.
Murphy has not suffered a defeat since her unanimous decision loss to Sijara Eubanks at UFC Fight Night: Rivera vs. Moraes in 2018. ‘Lucky’ went on a five-fight win streak and was already on her way to an eventual showdown with Shevchenko, but recently solidified the first championship opportunity of her UFC tenure with a split decision win over Joanne Calderwood at UFC 263. Dethroning the seemingly invincible Shevchenko is a tall order for Murphy, but it is one she says she expects to fill on fight night.
Why should you care?
This is either a showcase by Shevchenko or an upset by Murphy, so it is definitely worth tuning in for.