Arguably the most dominant champion in any UFC division is Valentina Shevchenko (20-3). Shevchenko is the queen of the flyweight division and she has shown that she’s head and shoulders above the competition at 125 pounds.
Nobody in the world believed that Maia could hang with Shevchenko. However, Maia was able to win a round and make it competitive. Well, as competitive as a fight can be when one person loses four of the five rounds.
Simply put, Valentina Shevchenko is at a different level. The UFC flyweight champion has only lost twice inside the octagon. Both of those losses came to two-division champion, Amanda Nunes.
However, many believe that Shevchenko won the second matchup which Nunes took by split decision. Nevertheless, when the flyweight division was created, the UFC created it with Valentina Shevchenko in mind.
UFC Flyweight in 2021
As we head into the new year, we already know what is going to be first for Valentina Shevchenko. The first challenger will be former UFC strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (21-8).
Andrade is now competing in her third weight class in the UFC. She started at bantamweight when it was the only division. However, she was much smaller than all of her competition.
When the strawweight division was created, she dropped twenty pounds to compete there. She captured UFC gold, but it still didn’t appear to be her natural weight class. Finally at 125, she seems to have found the perfect fit.
In her debut, she finished former title challenger, Katlyn Chookagian (15-4), in the first round. A matchup between Shevchenko and Andrade should be a lot of fun for fight fans. No word on when this matchup will take place.
Outside of the title fight, there is another compelling matchup in the division that should be made. That would be the rematch between Chookagian and top contender, Lauren Murphy (14-4).
The two fought back in 2016 with Chookagian picking up the win. However, Murphy has now won four in a row which has placed her third in the rankings. A matchup between the two could be a title eliminator.
One storyline to watch out for in the UFC‘s flyweight division in 2021 is a potential champion versus champion super fight. Weili Zhang (21-1) is the UFC’s strawweight champion and widely considered one of the best in the world.
If she’s able to defend her title once or twice successfully in 2021, I wouldn’t rule out her moving up to challenge Shevchenko. Dana White has already said that he likes the idea. The flyweight division is definitely one to watch in 2021.