Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 275, the women’s flyweight title is on the line. The undisputed queen makes her return as Valentina Shevchenko (22-3) will look to add another ruby to her title as she defends against Brazil’s Taila Santos (19-1).
For Santos, she rides a four-fight winning streak into UFC 275. She was introduced to UFC fans via Dana White’s Contender Series. At the time, she was unbeaten and she was given a contract. Unfortunately, she lost her debut by split decision.
That said, she’s been perfect since. In her last two fights, she’s picked up big wins over Roxanne Modafferi and Joanne Wood. The Wood win was very impressive as she submitted her in the first round.
However, let’s be clear, she’s never met a challenge like she’ll see at UFC 275. I’ve long held the belief that Valentina Shevchenko is the best fighter in the world. She’s the best pound-for-pound and she’s been flawless at 125. She’s defended her title six times and she’s looking for tomorrow night to be another night at the office.
UFC 275 Prediction
Let me start out by stating here that Taila Santos is a very good flyweight. She has good striking and she has good grappling. I think that she is a dangerous contender when you compare her to the rest of the contenders at 125.
However, the key part to that statement is comparing her to other contenders. That’s not what is in front of her at UFC 275. Valentina Shevchenko is miles and miles ahead of every contender at 125 pounds. She is truly out of this world and every time someone thinks they found her weakness, she wins even more dominantly than expected.
Her speed is going to be a huge issue for Santos. I think that Shevchenko’s ability to bounce in and out with lightning fast combinations is going to get overwhelming for Santos. Don’t get me wrong, Santos will land shots, but they will be few and far between.
Now, we saw Jennifer Maia control Shevchenko for a round in their fight. Perhaps Santos will look to grapple at UFC 275. However, Shevchenko is insanely strong and I’m not convinced that Santos will get her down and be able to keep her down.
Ultimately, this is Valentina’s world and we are just living in it. I think she’ll make another statement tomorrow and pick up a late finish to defend her title and secure another ruby.
Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko by TKO – Round 4