After dominant win at UFC 261, what’s next for Valentina Shevchenko?

This past Saturday at UFC 261 we got to see a flyweight title fight that the world was intrigued by. The undisputed flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko (21-3) defended her title against former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (21-9).

Heading into the fight, the UFC and Dana White really hyped up the former strawweight champion to build interest. The thought was that the power and pure strength of Andrade could give Valentina Shevchenko problems she has yet to deal with.

However, let’s not forget that Shevchenko has fought 40 minutes with Amanda Nunes (21-4). Nevertheless, the UFC was building up Andrade was a truly formattable challenger for the title.

Well, on Saturday night, Valentina Shevchenko made a massive statement to everyone. Dana White said that Shevchenko fought like a demon at UFC 261 who was pissed off at everyone.

Shevchenko did what everyone said Andrade needed to do at UFC 261. She engaged Andrade in the clinch and in close quarters. However, Andrade couldn’t do anything and Shevchenko showed just how strong she is.

Shevchenko ragdolled the former UFC strawweight champion on Saturday night. There wasn’t one aspect of the fight that she didn’t dominate. In the second round, she secured the crucifix position off of a powerful takedown and got the TKO win.

What’s next after UFC 261?

At UFC 261, Valentina Shevchenko once again proved that there are levels to this game and nobody is even close to hers at 125 pounds. She’s so far ahead of the rest of these ladies it’s not even funny.

The thing that makes her so special is how well-rounded she is as a martial artist. She has elite striking, elite grappling and she’s stronger than most of the bantamweights on the roster.

The only person on the entire UFC roster that can compete with Shevchenko is Amanda Nunes. This is not an exaggeration or being a victim of the moment, but I truly believe that Shevchenko is the second greatest female mixed martial artist we’ve ever seen.

She is inches behind Nunes and if you have a hard time believing that, watch their second fight from UFC 215. Personally, I scored that fight for Shevchenko and if she would’ve won that split decision, she would be called the greatest.

In my perfect world, I would love to see the trilogy between these two ladies, but Dana White has dismissed that. In terms of the next contender at flyweight, there are a couple of upcoming UFC matchups to watch.

A few weeks from now, Katlyn Chookagian (15-4) takes on Viviane Araujo (10-2) at UFC 262. Then, in June, Lauren Murphy (14-4) takes on JoJo Calderwood (15-5). One of these four ladies will get the next crack at the champion. My only advice to whoever gets that shot is good luck because you’re going to need it.

BREAKING: UFC books Amanda Nunes – Julianna Pena

Amanda Nunes (21-4) is officially set for her first UFC bantamweight title defense since December 2019. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto today that The Lioness is returning to bantamweight in August to defend her title against Julianna Pena (10-4).

You can imagine that this matchup at UFC 265 is going to have a ton of heat behind it. Back at UFC 257, Pena defeated Sara McMann by third round fear-naked choke. After the fight was over, she started calling for a fight with Nunes.

Pena stated that the UFC‘s two-division champion had been ducking her for years. The callouts were odd to me considering where Pena was in the division. The Venezuelan Vixen is just 2-2 in her last four and was put to sleep against Germaine de Randamie last October.

Nevertheless, the trash talk seemed to work and the UFC decided to give Pena the fight. If the current rankings hold, Julianna Pena will enter the cage in August as the sixth ranked bantamweight.

UFC 265 Grudge Match

Amanda Nunes is the greatest of all time and let’s be clear, Julianna Pena really doesn’t deserve this shot at UFC 265. Her resume doesn’t exactly make her the number one contender. Especially considering the top contender just put her to sleep six months ago.

However, Pena called out the champion and that’s what she’s getting. Nunes has defeated the best the UFC has to offer at both 135 and 145 pounds. Pena is one of the few bantamweights that Nunes hasn’t had the privilege of fighting yet.

Perhaps that had a lot to do with this booking as well. Either way, it should be a fun buildup to UFC 265. The last time we saw Nunes was last month when she demolished Megan Anderson at UFC 259.

The win was Nunes’ second straight defense of her featherweight title. Now, Nunes will return to the division that made her a champion for the first time. This should be a fun matchup when August rolls around.

UFC: Miesha Tate wants to be active upon her return; Eyeing a rematch with Amanda Nunes

One week ago today we learned that Miesha Tate (18-7) was returning to the UFC. The former bantamweight champion retired back in 2016 after she had lost her second consecutive fight.

That fight was to Raquel Pennington and prior to that, she lost at UFC 200 to Amanda Nunes. Tate had just turned 30 years old when she retired and having only lost two fights in a row, many were perplexed by her decision to retire.

However, Tate told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani this week that she was just ready to get away from being Miesha Tate the fighter. In her time away from the octagon, she became a VP with One Championship.

However, as a fighter, Tate was still under contract with the UFC. Tate told Helwani that she really started to get the itch to fight last year. She had a baby last June and then reached out to Dana White in September.

After meeting with White, Tate’s UFC return was inevitable. However, at first, Tate was going to compete at featherweight. The former bantamweight champion wanted to compete where she didn’t have to cut weight.

Returning to the UFC’s bantamweight division

Of course, it’s known how shallow the talent pool is at featherweight in the UFC. In fact, there was rumors going around that the division was being shut down after Nunes defeated Megan Anderson earlier this month.

As of now, featherweight is still a division, but it won’t be the division Tate competes in. After thinking about it, Tate wanted to compete at bantamweight because she’s wanting to be an active fighter upon her return.

Ultimately, the goal for Tate is to get a rematch with the UFC’s two-division champion, Amanda Nunes. Tate told Helwani that she believes she could get another crack at Nunes with a couple of quality wins.

Given her name recognition, I believe that’s about right in terms of her timeline. Tate takes on Marion Reneau (9-7-1) on July 17th. This is the perfect opponent for her in her UFC return.

Reneau is not the best fighter, but she’s dangerous. This is a good way for Tate to get back into the swing of things before she starts taking on some of the best at 135 pounds. Maybe another showdown with Holly Holm could occur later in 2021.

UFC: Is Julianna Pena justifiably confident or extremely delusional?

Last weekend at UFC 259, Amanda Nunes (21-4) successfully defended her featherweight title. The greatest fighter in women’s MMA history furthered her legacy by demolishing Megan Anderson in the first round.

After her latest title defense, Nunes is planning on dropping back down to bantamweight to defend her other UFC title. Waiting for her at 135 pounds is Julianna Pena (10-4). Pena has been extremely vocal about wanting a shot at Nunes.

After Pena’s win over Sara McMann, she got on the microphone and called out Amanda Nunes. She said that the UFC‘s two-division champion had been dodging her for years and it was time for the two of them to meet inside the octagon.

These comments seemed to amuse Nunes and most of the MMA community. After Nunes won on Saturday night, we learned that Holly Holm was out of her upcoming fight against Julianna Pena. That fight was being looked at as a potential title eliminator.

After that news dropped, Julianna Pena took to social media to continue her callouts of the UFC champion. Pena also appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show where she continued to callout Nunes and made some rather interesting remarks.

Will the UFC book the grudge match?

Pena told Ariel Helwani, “She knows stylistically I’m the worst matchup for her. Let’s go back to the Cat Zingano fight. She lost, she curled up the fetal position and the referee had to pull Cat off of her. I beat Cat. I’m the best wrestler in the division. She knows she’s gonna curl up in the fetal position (again).”

Strong words from Pena towards the UFC’s two-division champion. However, is her words just showing confidence or straight up delusion? To me, everything she said in this interview with Ariel Helwani came across as Chael Sonnen level delusional.

The fight she’s referencing was seven years ago before Nunes had a strength and conditioning program. Nunes hasn’t remotely gassed in a fight anytime in the last few years. In fact, she just beat Felicia Spencer for five consecutive rounds without breaking a sweat. There is no questioning the cardio of Amanda Nunes now.

I’ll give Pena credit for putting herself out there, but some of the things she says just make no sense at all. However, at the end of the day, this talk is likely going to get her a crack at the UFC title.

After UFC 259, Dana White hinted that Pena might be next for Nunes at 135 pounds. Despite being ranked sixth and having just lost to the top contender a few months ago, Pena’s ability to sell the fight might win out here.

I respect Julianna Pena for calling for this fight and wanting this fight. Not many people do, however, my advice to her would just be to be careful what you wish for. Personally, I hope this fight gets made because the women’s divisions could use some of this heat.

UFC denies closing featherweight despite claims from Megan Anderson

Maybe the UFC isn’t getting rid of the women’s featherweight division after all. Yesterday, Megan Anderson (11-5) announced on her Twitch that the promotion was not going to be retaining her after her contract had expired.

Anderson also said that the UFC had informed her that they were getting rid of the featherweight division. Multiple outlets have received word back from the UFC and the promotion is denying that they are getting rid of the division.

The UFC has confirmed that Megan Anderson is no longer a fighter for the promotion. With Anderson gone, the featherweight division is down to just a few fighters overall. As mentioned in the article yesterday, the only featherweight contest booked is in May.

That was said to be the final fight for the featherweights, but it might not be. Danyelle Wolf and Felicia Spencer will fight in May with the future of the featherweights up in the air at the moment.

What is happening in the UFC’s women’s featherweight division?

Amanda Nunes (21-4) is the UFC’s two-division champion and is one of the biggest stars for the promotion. She has been very vocal about keeping the featherweight division open. Dana White has acknowledged that they would do what the champ wants in this case.

However, with letting Megan Anderson walk and having so little featherweights, what should we make of the situation? I believe that moving forward, the UFC’s featherweight division will exist only in name.

Nunes will still be the champion, but until they can add more talent, the division will be on pause. If there’s a fighter outside the UFC who rises up through the rankings at 145, you might see a matchup with Nunes materialize.

However, I think the UFC is closing the division in terms of it being an active vision. They will keep it listed to allow Nunes to have her champ-champ status, however, the division itself will essentially be put on ice.

BREAKING: UFC dropping women’s featherweight division

In a decision that does not come as a surprise, the UFC is getting rid of the women’s featherweight division. The news was revealed by Megan Anderson (11-5) this evening on her Twitch Live Stream.

Anderson said that the UFC has informed her that the promotion is getting rid of featherweight and they will not be retaining her. UFC 259 was Anderson’s final fight on her current contract with the promotion.

Of course, Anderson lost in her title fight to Amanda Nunes (21-4). Earlier today, we posted an article about what could be next for Megan Anderson. However, it was hard to find any options for Anderson given the lack of fighters at 145 pounds.

The UFC currently has one final featherweight bout already booked for May. That matchup will feature former title challenger Felicia Spencer and Danyelle Wolf. For now, this will be the final women’s featherweight fight in the UFC.

UFC’s next steps

The writing was on the wall for the featherweight division. The UFC only had a handful of fighters in the division and the only two viable challengers to the champion were completely dominated in their attempts at the title.

Keeping the division didn’t make much sense at this point. Amanda Nunes said after UFC 259 that she doesn’t want to give up her title and wants to keep her champ-champ status.

The promotion absolutely loves Nunes so my guess is they will let her keep the title of featherweight champion. However, the division as a whole will no longer exist until the promotion finds a challenger for Nunes.

Megan Anderson will now hit the open market as a free agent. After the fight in May, Felicia Spencer and Danyelle Wolf will also be released from their UFC contracts unless they can make 135 pounds. Amanda Nunes will now return exclusively to bantamweight to defend her 135 pound title.

What’s next for Megan Anderson after loss at UFC 259?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Megan Anderson (11-5) finally got her shot at the featherweight title. Anderson was originally supposed to get her title fight back in December, however, Amanda Nunes (21-4) had to push back the fight a couple of months.

When the UFC brought Megan Anderson in, many considered her to be a future title contender. Anderson was the Invicta featherweight champion and she had a lot of skills that made her a formattable opponent for anyone at 145 pounds.

Up until Saturday night, Anderson was 3-2 inside the octagon with losses to Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. However, she was coming off of back-to-back first round stoppages which earned her the shot at the UFC‘s two-division champion.

Anderson had an extremely tall task on Saturday night. Amanda Nunes has looked unstoppable over her last eleven fights. The two-division champion also seems to do her best work at 145 pounds when she doesn’t have to cut extra weight.

Megan Anderson was a massive betting underdog entering UFC 259 and the fight played out that way. Anderson looked extremely nervous and tentative in the cage. As soon as Nunes hit her clean for the first time, you knew she was in trouble.

Anderson retreated and Nunes swarmed. The UFC champion pummeled Anderson with more shots that forced a desperate takedown attempt. Nunes easily defended and locked up a triangle armbar to get the first round submission and retain her title.

What’s next after UFC 259?

Unfortunately for Megan Anderson, there are not a lot of options for her at the moment in the UFC. The women’s featherweight division is extremely shallow and they don’t even have a rankings system due to the lack of fighters.

With that, it’s hard to tell what’s next for Anderson. Dana White’s Contender Series makes it’s return in June and perhaps the UFC will look to add more 145 pound women through the upcoming season. More talent means more options for Megan Anderson.

When it comes to current UFC options, one fighter to look at is Leah Letson (5-1). Letson was a semifinalist on season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter. She hasn’t fought since her 2018 win over Julija Stoliarenko, but she’s gearing up for her return to the octagon.

However, the most likely option would be the winner of the Felicia Spencer – Danyelle Wolf fight. This matchup is expected to take place in May. Whoever wins won’t likely warrant a title shot so a fight with Anderson would make sense. No matter how you slice it, there aren’t a lot of options at featherweight.

After another dominant title defense at UFC 259, what’s next for Amanda Nunes?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Amanda Nunes (21-4) defended her featherweight championship against Megan Anderson (11-5). Anderson’s physical attributes figured to give Nunes a new challenge that she wasn’t used to.

Anderson is very tall and she has good range striking as well as submissions. However, were those attributes going to be enough was the big question. The answer was emphatically no at UFC 259.

From the opening bell, Anderson looked extremely tentative. Her eyes were very wide and she had the look of someone who didn’t want to be there. Shortly into the first round, Nunes landed her first big bomb.

Anderson took the shot well, but she looked horrified. Nunes pushed forward and landed more shots that had Anderson hurt badly. Anderson shot for a desperation takedown, but Nunes ended up on top.

Once the UFC‘s two-division champion was on top, it didn’t last long. From the top, Nunes was able to lock up an inverted triangle choke. She transitioned that to a triangle armbar and Anderson was forced to tap. A beautiful performance by Nunes.

What’s next after UFC 259?

After this performance, it appears that the featherweight division will be put on ice for a bit. The UFC has no plans to close the division with Nunes’ desire to remain a two-division champion, but there simply aren’t any challengers there at the moment.

With that, Nunes will return to bantamweight for her next fight. As of now, it appears that the UFC is leaning towards having former Ultimate Fighter winner, Julianna Pena (10-4) challenge Nunes. This is a decision that I don’t personally agree with.

While Pena has been vocal about her desire to fight Nunes, she’s ranked sixth in the division. She was put to sleep by Germaine De Randamie (10-4) just a few months ago. Having Pena jump the line just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me even if there’s beef there.

Trilogies or Beef?

In my opinion the two women I’m interested in Nunes fighting next at 135 is De Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko (20-3). Shevchenko and De Randamie both have something in common. They are unbeaten inside the UFC outside of their fights with Nunes.

Shevchenko is 0-2, but many (including myself) through that she actually won the second matchup with Nunes. The UFC’s flyweight champion is defending her title in April, and if she wins, we could see the trilogy.

However, out of the contenders at 135, nobody is more deserving than De Randamie. Yes, she’s lost to Nunes twice, but she’s beat everyone else at 135. She showed great improvement on the ground against Pena and she showed that she can strike with Nunes.

Ultimately, I believe the UFC will go down the path of Julianna Pena. Again, this is something I don’t agree with, but at the end of the day, the promotion does a lot of things that the media doesn’t agree with.

UFC: Holly Holm injured and out of Julianna Pena fight

A highly anticipated matchup in the UFC‘s women’s bantamweight division is off. We learned tonight that former bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (14-5), has sustained an injury and is out of her May matchup against Julianna Pena (10-4).

Julianna Pena tweeted out the news about the Holm injury as she was watching UFC 259. At this time, there is no word on what the injury is for Holly Holm or how long she will be out of action.

Holm had one of the best performances of her career last October on Fight Island. She looked better than ever and she appeared to be heading for another shot at the UFC bantamweight title.

To get that shot at the title, she was going to have to beat Pena. Pena is currently ranked sixth in the bantamweight division while Holm is ranked second. At this time, there are rumblings that the promotion might do something different with Pena, but this entire situation is fluid.

What will the UFC do?

Depending on the injury news, the UFC could always rebook this fight at a later date. If the injury is relatively mild and the fight can be pushed back to June, I could see the promotion moving in that direction.

However, if Holm is going to need more time, the promotion will likely look at different options for Julianna Pena. Pena has been very vocal about her desire to fight two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (21-4).

Nunes just defended her featherweight title at UFC 259. However, Pena has a steep uphill climb to convince the promotion to give her the next bantamweight title fight. The reason is because the number one ranked contender, Germaine de Randamie (10-4) just put her to sleep in October.

My guess is that De Randamie will likely get the next shot at the bantamweight title. Yes, she’s fought Nunes and lost twice already, but she’s the most deserving. You can’t give Pena that shot when she was just put to sleep by De Randamie.

I know she’s coming off of a loss, but perhaps a fight with Irene Aldana (12-6) could be next. Or even a shot against Aspen Ladd (9-1). Both contenders are ahead of Pena in the rankings and would make for quality opponents.

Amanda Nunes demolishes Megan Anderson in one at UFC 259

In the co-main event of UFC 259, we saw the return of the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time. Two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4) was back to defend her featherweight title against top contender, Megan Anderson (11-4).

This was Nunes’ first fight since she became a mother in late 2020. The last time we saw Nunes was at UFC 250 when she completely destroyed Felicia Spencer over the course of five rounds.

Nunes has won eleven fights in a row leading up to UFC 259. Every person the promotion has put in front of her, outside of Valentina Shevchenko, she’s destroyed. She was the massive betting favorite in tonight’s co-main event.

Megan Anderson is the former featherweight champion in Invicta. When she made her UFC debut a couple of years ago, people were thinking of her as a potential champion. However, she’s only gone 3-2 in five fights so far with the UFC.

Her two losses have come against Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. Both of those opponents were dominated by Nunes which is why Anderson was nearly a +800 underdog on some sites heading into tonight’s fight.

UFC 259 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 259 co-main event opened and the champion had a big smile on her face. The two touch gloves and Anderson started moving forward. A good low kick lands for Nunes to start her striking.

Anderson was switching stances and Nunes lands a massive overhand right. Another massive right hand lands and Anderson is wobbled badly. Nunes pushes forward and drops Megan Anderson with a big shot.

The UFC champion was beating Anderson badly here in the first. Nunes locks up a triangle choke and this one is over. Anderson taps and Nunes retains her featherweight championship.

Amanda Nunes def. Megan Anderson by Submission (Triangle Armbar) – Round 1