Barring an unforeseen set of circumstances, Valentina Shevchenko will be taking part in her first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title fight against current women’s Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, after submitting Julianna Pena at UFC on FOX 23 in Denver, Colorado.
But, it won’t be the first time "Bullet" has faced off against "The Lioness," as the two went toe-to-toe at UFC 196 in early 2016, as Nunes took home a decision win over Shevchenko after three rounds of action.
But, Valentina has improved drastically since then, picking up two huge wins over former division champion Holly Holm by out-striking the former boxing champion. Perhaps even more impressive, however, was her submission win over "The Venezuelan Vixen" which showed that she’s an all-around fighter, as she can make you tap on the ground or wear you out on the feet.
That said, Nunes is also much-improved, as evidenced by her beatdown of Miesha Tate, as well as her 48-second knockout victory over Ronda Rousey at UFC 207. And while Amanda should be the favorite in the championship bout, it won’t be by much.
But, putting money on the women’s bantamweight division is a huge risk, as the title has exchanged hands constantly since "Rowdy" coughed it up. So, it won’t be a huge surprise to see it swap ownership once more.
Shevchenko has all the tools of a champion, and she has a lot of incentive to get one back on the first-and-only woman to ever defeat her inside the Octagon.
So if Nunes wants to be the first-person not named Ronda to defend her belt more than once, she needs to stop thinking about her dual-champion aspirations for a moment to focus on the real task at hand.
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