UFC books Andrea Lee – Antonina Shevchenko

The UFC is putting together a women’s flyweight showcase on in the month of May. MMA Junkie was the first to report that the promotion has finalized a flyweight matchup between top 15 contenders, Andrea Lee (11-5) and Antonina Shevchenko (9-2).

The matchup will take place at the UFC‘s Fight Night on May 15th. Worth noting that this is the second matchup of top fifteen flyweights on this card. Last week, it was announced that top ten contenders, Katlyn Chookagian and Viviane Araujo would also be meeting on the May 15th card.

On top of these announcements, we also learned yesterday that at UFC 261 in April, Valentina Shevchenko will defend her title against Jessica Andrade. This is looking like it will be a pivotal few week’s for the women’s flyweight division.

Antonina Shevchenko is the older sister of the UFC‘s flyweight champion. She will be making the walk for the sixth time with the promotion and she’s 3-2 so far. Her only two losses came against top ten contenders, Roxanne Modafferi and Katlyn Chookagian.

Both of those fights showed an area of weakness for Shevchenko. That weakness was her ground game. Shevchenko is a former Muay Thai world champion, but her ground game has needed work. However, at UFC 255 she showed a lot of improvement on her way to getting a TKO over Ariane Lipski.

UFC flyweight matchup

Standing across from Shevchenko on May 15th will be KGB, Andrea Lee. There was a lot of hype surrounding Lee just a couple of years ago. At one point, Lee was 11-2 and looked like she was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot.

However, that is where things have taken a turn. Lee suffered back-to-back split decision losses to JoJo Calderwood and Lauren Murphy. After those two losses, Lee dropped another decision to Roxanne Modafferi.

While there’s no shame in losing to any of those top ten contenders, it showed that Andrea was no where ready for a UFC title shot. Having lost three fights in a row, this is a massive fight for Andrea Lee. If she’s able to knock off Antonina Shevchenko, it could be the start of a run back up the rankings. Should be a good one in May.

After second straight loss at UFC 258, what’s next for Maycee Barber?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Maycee Barber (8-2) made her return in the co-main event of the evening. Arguably the promotion’s top female prospect had a tough test in front of her in Alexa Grasso (13-3).

Barber was being built up as the future just like her nickname would suggest. Maycee Barber is ferocious when she’s on and she’s always looking for a finish. She drew some criticism when she made the bullish claim that she’d be the youngest champion in UFC history.

However, those plans were derailed in 2020 with a loss and a knee injury. There was a lot of hype behind this matchup which is why is was the co-main event of the evening. However, this fight didn’t go as Barber planned.

From the opening bell, Barber looked hesitant to get on the inside. She was throwing a lot of feints, but they were from very far away. It was all pretty much wasted movement and when she did come in to engage, Grasso was tagging her.

The first two rounds were very one-sided for Alexa Grasso at UFC 258. In the third round, we saw some glimpses of that promise from Barber. She was ferocious in trying to get a finish, but it was a little too late and she ultimately lost her second straight by decision.

What’s next after UFC 258?

It’s important to remember that Maycee Barber is just 22 years old. She has plenty of time to regroup despite back-to-back losses in the UFC. The promotion has a few options for her in her next fight.

If they want to give her a ranked opponent, the promotion could look at someone like Andrea Lee (11-5). It wasn’t long ago that Andrea Lee was looked at as a title contender. However, she’s now lost three in a row which finds her 12th in the UFC’s flyweight division.

If they want to give her someone outside the rankings, another option could be Ariane Lipski (13-6). Lipski is on the fringe of the top 15, but she just got finished by Antonina Shevchenko. Lipski would be a solid test for Barber in a fight she should be favored in.

The UFC should give her a decent opponent in her next fight. She has a ton of potential, but just because she’s lost two straight doesn’t mean she should get a layup. I think either of these matchups would be good for Maycee Barber.

UFC Vegas 10 Recap: Michelle Waterson edges Angela Hill in an instant classic

Tonight, the UFC hosted it’s tenth fight night from their APEX facility. It was a night full of fantastic matchups. In the main event of the evening, there was a highly anticipated matchup between strawweights Michelle Waterson (17-8) and Angela Hill (12-8)

The two top 15 UFC strawweights were looking to take the next step towards title contention tonight. Both were coming off of losses in their last UFC contest, but a win for either, would be a big step in the right direction.

Waterson and Hill deliver in an instant classic

Both of these ladies came to fight tonight. The two top UFC strawweight contenders both had big moments in the fight. I was blown away early on by Angela Hill’s hands early on in the fight. In the first round, her hands looked extremely crisp.

Waterson then came back in the second round with some solid adjustments. Hill was still landing big shots, but Waterson shifted to using more of her hands which found her some success. Both ladies were putting on an incredible pace while throwing big shots at the other in the first two rounds.

In the third round, Hill really started letting her hands go. She bloodied Waterson’s nose, but the Karate Hottie landed a big takedown that changed the course of the round. Waterson dominated the third round with her superior grappling.

In the fourth round, Waterson really tried to get the fight back to the ground. However, Hill did a fantastic job of defending. Both ladies had some really good moments on the feet in the fourth round. I had the fight even going into the final round.

The final round featured these top UFC strawweights not giving an inch. Both ladies were throwing everything that they had trying to put a stamp on the victory. The final round was razor close, but I did lean towards Hill with her work in the final minute.

The judges ended up scoring the fight for Michelle Waterson (49-46, 48-47, 47-48). Hill has now lost two straight razor close split decisions that could have gone her way. A massive win for Michelle Waterson who snaps her two fight losing streak.

UFC Vegas 10 Results

UFC Vegas 10 delivered a very solid night of fights. One of the standouts was Bobby Green (27-10-1), who won his third fight in the last three months. Green defeated Alan Patrick by unanimous decision. Last year, Green seemed content with walking away from the sport, and now he’s on a massive career resurgence in 2020.

Andrea Lee (11-5) and Roxanne Modafferi (25-17) had an extremely entertaining fight. The two top ten UFC flyweight contenders went back and forth over three rounds. In the end, Modafferi was able to secure a unanimous decision. The third straight close loss for Lee.

In the co-main event of the evening, Ottman Azaitar (13-0) blew me away. The bulldozer came in undefeated, but he was an underdog to Khama Worthy (16-7) who had won seven straight fights. Azaitar ran through Worthy knocking him out in the first round.

 

UFC Vegas 10: Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill take center stage

Throughout 2020, the UFC has been hit with some cancellations due to COVID-19. However, one that stings really bad is losing the main event for tomorrow night’s fight night. Thiago Santos and Glover Teixiera were due to battle in a title eliminator.

However, after Teixiera tested positive, the UFC pushed the fight back. Now, the UFC has bumped up the co-main event featuring Michelle Waterson (17-8) and Angela Hill (12-8). While not the biggest fight on paper, it’s still expected to deliver a solid fight.

Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill

This main event pairs two of the top 13 fighters in the women’s strawweight division against each other. For The Karate Hottie, she’s looking to break her current two fight losing streak in the UFC. Both losses came against former champions.

Between 2018 and 2019, Michelle Waterson went on a run in the UFC. She won three consecutive fights including one against former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Following that winning streak, she got a shot against the former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Waterson came up short in that fight as she was outclassed on the feet by the former champion. Then she suffered a split decision loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 249. I personally scored the fight for Waterson. Nevertheless, she will look to break her losing streak.

Angela Hill has really turned a corner over the last 12 months. A year ago today, Hill’s record was 9-7, but she went on a three fight winning streak before fighting Claudia Gadelha back in May. Many people thought she should have won the fight, but she lost a split decision.

To me, this is really a matchup of top ten strawweights. Hill is better than the 13th best in the division. Waterson has put together a solid UFC career so far, but she’s always been fighting above her natural weight class since the promotion doesn’t have atomweight.

Waterson is headlining her third UFC event, and while I think she’s very talented, I think this is a tough matchup. Hill has been doing a very good job of using her lengthy punches in her recent fights. A strategy that should really help her in this one score some points.

I expect both of these ladies to have their moments in this fight. For Waterson, she cannot sit back too much. She needs to be active with kicks to score as much as she can. I just think Hill is ready to take that next step in the strawweight division.

Prediction: Angela Hill by Unanimous Decision

The Rest of UFC Vegas 10

While not the sexiest card the UFC has put together, there are definitely some solid fights up and down the card. I’m anxious to watch the fight between top ten flyweights, Roxanne Modafferi (24-17) and Andrea Lee (11-4). The co-main with Khama Worthy (16-6) and undefeated Ottman Azaitar (12-0) should be fantastic.

The prelims also have some solid action including Roosevelt Roberts (10-2) taking on Matt Frevola (8-1-1). Those two have had some back and forth. Again, not the biggest card in terms of name recognition, but the UFC is putting forth a card that should deliver on action.