Last night at UFC 255, Valentina Shevchenko (20-3) successfully defended her flyweight title. Challenger Jennifer Maia was game, but in the end, Shevchenko walked away with her hand raised with the UFC title wrapped around her waste.
It was an interesting fight for the UFC flyweight champion. Everyone expected Shevchenko to just walk through Jennifer Maia. However, that didn’t happen last night. The challenger was much tougher than anticipated.
In the first round, Shevchenko controlled the fight from Maia’s guard. Shevchenko used her wrestling and grappling skills a lot last night to takedown Maia. However, the strategy was a little puzzling.
Jennifer Maia looked incredibly strong last night. In fact, the challenger won the second round by controlling Shevchenko in the grappling exchanges. That being said, the fight on the feet was not very close between the two women.
Maia would land some good shots here and there, but for the most part, it was all Shevchenko. I think Shevchenko could have finished the fight if she would have just kept it standing. But, at the end of the day, she walked out of UFC 255 victorious and that’s what matters.
What’s next after UFC 255?
After the event was over, UFC President Dana White made it clear on what he thinks is going to be next for Shevchenko. White told the media in the post-fight press conference that Jessica Andrade (21-8) will be next in line to face Shevchenko.
Andrade is the former UFC strawweight champion. She just made her flyweight debut last month when she took on former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian. Andrade blitzed through Chookagian and finished her in the first round.
Jessica Andrade finally looks like she’s fighting in her natural weight class. She could poise some interesting challenges for Shevchenko, but the UFC flyweight champion should still be a sizeable favorite going into that matchup.
White didn’t give a timetable on when that fight could possibly take place. My guess is that we could see that fight booked around March or April. I think it’ll be a fight that should really excite the UFC fans.