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UFC 213: Valentina Shevchenko, 'Fighter To Watch' tonight in Las Vegas

MMA: UFC 196-Nunes vs Shevchenko Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Valentina Shevchenko will get her opportunity to even the score with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes when the two meet in a critical main event later tonight (Sat., July 8, 2017) at UFC 213 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will mark Shevchenko’s first attempt at UFC gold and her third-straight headlining act.

As the world-class striker gears up for her biggest MMA bout to date, a familiar foe stands in her way of ultimate glory. Shevchenko previously lost to Nunes back at UFC 196 via unanimous decision. Unlike UFC 213, that fight was a three-round affair and “Bullet” simply couldn’t claw her back on the scorecards after struggling early on against Nunes. However, Shevchenko seemed to have full control of the action in the third round as “Lioness” began to fade from an empty gas tank.

At UFC 213, Shevchenko will get the chance to avenge her previous performance opposite Nunes, provide evidence that she has excelled and evolved her skill set since then, and ultimately usher in a new era in the women’s 135-pound division. While Nunes is a fierce champion who has ran through WMMA legends Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate to get to this point, Shevchenko is arguably the most talented female striker in the sport today. Her background in Muay Thai and kickboxing is more than enough to counter the aggressive striking style of Nunes, who has simply battered the competition over the past two years.

Luckily for Shevchenko, she has a little more momentum this time around after capturing recent victories over Holly Holm and Julianna Pena. Not only did Shevchenko outpoint Holm at UFC on FOX 20 by utilizing crisp counter attacks, but she outsmarted “The Venezuelan Vixen” at UFC on FOX 23 this past January en route to a shocking second-round submission win. Holm and Pena are two of the biggest names in the division and Shevchenko took them out decisively. She can lean on that recent success as she enters her rematch with Nunes later this evening.

At her finest, Shevchenko can be one of the very best fighters in the world. Her striking is already at an elite level, evident by her deconstruction of Holm’s boxing, and her submission game is coming along very nicely, especially when you consider Pena is one of the best grapplers in the bantamweight division. All of that said, “Bullet” will have to prove her worth against a hot champion at UFC 213 to break through the proverbial ceiling and cash in on her elite skill set. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 213 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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