BREAKING: UFC books Valentina Shevchenko – Jessica Andrade

The UFC has finalized the next title fight in the women’s flyweight division. The flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko (20-3) will be defending her title against the former UFC strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (21-8).

The matchup will take place at UFC 261 on April 24th. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report the news. Shevchenko will be looking to defend her flyweight title for the fifth time on April 24th.

There is no doubting that Shevchenko is one of the best fighters in all of the UFC. Since making her debut with the promotion, the only fighter to get the better of Shevchenko was Amanda Nunes, who of course is considered to be the best of all time.

Worth noting that both of the losses against Nunes took place at 135 pounds. Shevchenko is much more natural and at her best at 125 pounds. Since the UFC created the flyweight division, Shevchenko has been in complete control.

Her dominance has gotten to the point where fans are amazed when she loses a round. Not a fight, but merely a round. Take her last fight at UFC 255 as the perfect example. In that fight, Shevchenko took on the tough, Jennifer Maia.

Maia was able to use her strength and grappling to clearly win the second round. That round made everyone stand back, but Shevchenko would go on to win four of the five rounds. She is truly something special and she has an exciting fight on her hands in a couple of months.

Third UFC weight class for Andrade

The UFC career of Jessica Andrade has been an interesting one. When she made her debut with the promotion back in 2013, there was only the bantamweight division. With that, Andrade was forced to fight at 135 pounds if she wanted to fight for the UFC.

Because she’s so talented, she was able to hold her own despite being much smaller. Then, the promotion created the strawweight division at 115 pounds. Andrade carries a lot of muscle, but she was able to cut down to that weight where she would be on a more even playing field.

The highlight of her strawweight career came at UFC 237 when she became the strawweight champion. However, she would go on to lose the title in her first defense. After losing a rematch to Rose Namajunas back on Fight Island, Andrade decided to try out her third weight class.

125 pounds is much more natural for Andrade. She doesn’t have to deplete herself due to an extreme weight cut and she maintains her speed that she had at strawweight. That makes her very dangerous to other flyweights.

She made her flyweight debut against top contender, Katlyn Chookagian. With a combination of body shots, Andrade was able to get the first round stoppage to earn a shot at the UFC’s flyweight queen. This is going to be one helluva fight and I’m excited to watch.

In the UFC’s women’s divisions, who will be a champion after 2021?

This week I’ve gone through all of the men’s divisions in the UFC. From flyweight to heavyweight predicting who will walk out of 2021 with a title around their waste. Well, what about the women’s divisions?

The UFC‘s four women’s are currently controlled by three of the very best fighters in the world. Amanda Nunes (20-4), Valentina Shevchenko (20-3), and Weili Zhang (21-1) stand on top of the four divisions.

Nunes reigns over the UFC‘s featherweight and bantamweight divisions. Shevchenko is the queen of the bantamweights while Weili Zhang is the champion at strawweight which is the best division in women’s MMA.

This year there plans to be a number of exciting female matchups in the UFC. As mentioned, the strawweight division is completely stacked and there is the potential of some super fights between champions in 2021.

The UFC is planning for a massive year in 2021 and the women figure to be a big part of that. The question then becomes, will any of the current champions lose their crowns in 2021?

UFC champions after 2021

Strawweight – Weili Zhang

In my opinion, the UFC champion that has the highest chance of losing in 2021 is Weili Zhang when it comes to the women. That’s not a knock on her at all, but it’s more of a testament to how good the strawweight division is.

That said, I believe that she will still be the UFC strawweight champion after 2021 is over. Weili only fought once in 2020 and it was the fight of the year. She defended her title against arguably the greatest strawweight of all time, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4).

At UFC 248, Weili showed me something we hadn’t seen from her yet. She showed that she can really dig down deep in a tough fight. Joanna pushed her to the limit, but Weili was game for five rounds and won a split decision.

Her first test of 2021 will likely come against Rose Namajunas (9-4). Thug Rose is the number one contender, but there have been hurdles in making the fight. Should it get made, I’m expecting another fantastic matchup.

However, in the end, I think that Weili Zhang is just the better fighter overall. If she loses in 2021, I really don’t believe it’ll be at strawweight. Her only loss would be if she moves up to take on the UFC’s flyweight champion.

Flyweight – Valentina Shevchenko

You can make the argument that the best female fighter in the UFC is Valentina Shevchenko. Of course as long as Amanda Nunes is the champ-champ, she will hold onto the number one spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

However, you can make the argument that Shevchenko actually defeated Nunes the last time they fought at UFC 215. Nunes won by split decision in a fight that I actually scored for Shevchenko.

The reality is, there is no one at 125 pounds that I see posing a threat to Shevchenko. Her first title defense of 2021 will come against Jessica Andrade (21-8). The former strawweight champion made her flyweight debut with a bang in October.

She was able to stop Katlyn Chookagian in the first round with body shots. Andrade definitely has the power to make it interesting, however, I just don’t see her being able to hang with the overall skillset of Shevchenko.

Bantamweight & Featherweight – Amanda Nunes

This is another easy one. Outside of Valentina Shevchenko, who can really challenge Amanda Nunes in 2021? She’s defending her featherweight title against Megan Anderson (11-4) at UFC 259.

Anderson should give Nunes some interesting challenges given her height and range. However, does anyone really believe that Megan Anderson will be the one to dethrone Amanda Nunes?

Nunes is on another level from most of her competition. She is the greatest female fighter to ever live. Nunes holds two victories over Shevchenko, she’s knocked out Cris Cyborg, she’s knocked out Ronda Rousey, she’s knocked out Holly Holm, and I could go on.

It is truly something special to watch her compete inside the octagon. 2021 is going to be interesting in that I could see the UFC pairing Nunes and Shevchenko up a third time. The only way Nunes or Shevchenko lose in 2021 is if they fight each other.

Honestly, I don’t know how that fight would go. Of course you’d have to favor Nunes. However, Shevchenko has all the skill to be able to hang with her. It’s a superfight that I desperately want to see in 2021.

UFC: State of the women’s flyweight division entering 2021

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.

She has been so dominant that people lose their minds when she loses a round as she did at UFC 255. Shevchenko just defended her title last month against a very game, Jennifer Maia (18-7-1).

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.

What’s next for Valentina Shevchenko after UFC 255?

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.

UFC Booking Cynthia Calvillo – Katlyn Chookagian

The UFC is currently finalizing a big time flyweight contest for their November PPV. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the promotion is finalizing a flyweight contest between Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) and Katlyn Chookagian (14-4).

The fight will take place on November 21st at UFC 255. The co-headliner that night is the women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Jennifer Maia. This is a big matchup for both ladies who have their eyes on climbing the ranks.

We just saw Chookagian a few weeks ago when she took on Jessica Andrade at UFC Fight Island 6. Chookagian was looking for his second consecutive win as she was hoping to get another shot at UFC champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

However, she ran into a buzzsaw in Andrade. Despite looking like the much bigger fighter, Chookagian was bullied in the matchup. Late in the first round, Andrade landed a vicious hook to the body and a follow up that closed the show.

It was a devastating loss for Chookagian. Now, she will look to get back into the win column with a victory over Calvillo. With Calvillo being ranked fourth in the division, a win would put Chookagian right back into the title picture.

UFC 255 Flyweight Clash

Cynthia Calvillo will be making her second appearance in the UFC‘s flyweight division. She made her debut back in June when she headlined a card against former top contender, Jessica Eye. That night, Calvillo used her wrestling to get the victory.

At the time, Eye was the top ranked flyweight contender in the UFC. It was a big statement for Calvillo to pick up the victory that night. If she’s able to defeat Chookagian it would give her two wins over two top contenders in the flyweight division.

Whoever comes out on top at UFC 255 has to be in the title picture. Calvillo to me has more to gain from this matchup since she’s already coming off of a win. Chookagian has the most to lose however, given that if she loses to Calvillo she would be on a two fight losing streak looking at a steep climb back up the division.

Does Lauren Murphy deserve a title shot after UFC 254?

Lauren Murphy, UFC

One of the more vocal fighters after UFC 254 was flyweight contender, Lauren Murphy (14-4). Murphy was originally supposed to take on Cynthia Calvillo, but at the last minute she ended up fighting Lilya Shakirova at UFC 254.

The flyweight contender looked really solid in all areas on Saturday. Murphy looked solid on the feet, and she showed good skills on the ground. Murphy said she wanted to lock up her first submission victory and she was able to do just that.

UFC 254 marked the fourth straight time that Murphy has made the walk successfully. She’s taken on ranked opponents in the division and finished two of her last four opponents. Murphy was very vocal about wanting a title shot in her post-fight interview.

Later on at the post-fight press conference, Murphy continued to show frustrations of getting passed up. She talked about Jennifer Maia. getting the next shot at Valentina Shevchenko. Let’s just say that Murphy is not thrilled with Maia’s title shot.

What should the UFC do?

For context, JoJo Calderwood was originally supposed to face Valentina Shevchenko in June. However, the UFC champion sustained an injury that would cause the fight to be delayed. Calderwood decided to roll the dice and fight Maia.

Maia went on to finish Calderwood by submission in the first round. Because of the finish of the top contender, the UFC decided to give Maia the shot. However, her resume doesn’t really scream top contender as she’s just 3-2 in her last five fights.

Granted, her two losses were to former title challengers. Murphy does have a point in that she’s won four in a row against ranked caliber opponents. So what should the UFC do? Obviously, the promotion isn’t going to take away the title fight from Maia.

I also don’t think sitting and waiting is going to help Murphy. Instead, I think the UFC should book her against who’s probably the front runner for the next title shot, Jessica Andrade. Andrade made her flyweight debut at UFC Fight Island 6 and finished top contender Katlyn Chookagian. 

The former strawweight champion is finally competing in what she believes is her natural weight class. Andrade just fought and Murphy just fought. The logical move to me is to have the UFC pair both of them together and the winner should fight the flyweight champion early next year.

Did Jessica Andrade earn a title shot at UFC Fight Island 6?

This past weekend at UFC Fight Island 6, former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (21-8), moved up to flyweight for the first time. Andrade had competed at bantamweight and became the champion at strawweight during her UFC career.

Despite the success at strawweight, many people believed that flyweight was the best natural weight class for the former champion. She jumped right into the deep end of the pool taking on top ranked contender, Katlyn Chookagian (14-4).

Chookagian was coming off a dominant win and was just one fight removed from a UFC title shot. Many believed that the winner could be in good position to cash in on a UFC title shot. Well, Andrade made a massive statement on Saturday.

Andrade showed off her superior strength despite being the much smaller fighter. She threw Chookagian to the ground twice. Andrade then landed some vicious hooks to the body that crumbled Chookagian giving Andrade the first round TKO victory.

UFC title shot next?

Andrade was the second UFC strawweight to move up this year to take on the top contender at flyweight. Cynthia Calvillo did the same thing against Jessica Eye. That night, Calvillo also defeated the previously top ranked contender.

However, that fight was a grinding decision with a lot of wrestling. Andrade made a massive statement with the way that she was able to win on Saturday night. She completed dominated and finished the former title challenger.

Given the way that she won and her status as a former UFC champion, I think Andrade is definitely next in line to face the winner of the UFC 255 title match. In the most likely scenario that Valentina Shevchenko retains her title, I would be very excited to see the matchup between Shevchenko and Andrade.

Shevchenko would still be a sizable favorite in that potential UFC matchup. Many people believe that she might be the best female fighter in the world. I personally thought she beat Amanda Nunes the last time they fought. A Shevchenko – Andrade title fight would be very exciting for the division.

What’s next for Katlyn Chookagian after UFC Fight Island 6?

This past Saturday at UFC Fight Island 6, the co-main event of the evening featured a fight between two top flyweight contenders. Former title challenger, Katlyn Chookagian (14-4), was welcoming the former UFC strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (21-8) to flyweight.

Despite having fought at bantamweight during her UFC career, Andrade was at a big size disadvantage. However, Chookagian wasn’t able to really use that size advantage to her advantage in this fight.

Andrade was able to take Chookagian down a couple of times including one big slam during the first round. In addition to the takedowns, Andrade was able to land some big leg kicks that buckled the former title challenger. Andrade looked great in the first round.

Chookagian was caught with a massive hook to the body that sent her spinning to the other side of the cage. Andrade followed up with more vicious hooks to the body that finished the fight. A crushing defeat for Chookagian at UFC Fight Island 6.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 6?

For Chookagian, it will be back to the UFC drawing board. She was coming off of a dominant victory over Antonina Shevchenko in her last fight, and a victory over the former UFC strawweight champion would’ve given her a good case for a rematch with Valentina Shevchenko.

However, Chookagian was dominated by Andrade. Chookagian has been flirting with retirement due to her desire to start a family. However, she said that she still has a goal and dream to become a UFC champion.

Chookagian has stated that once she leaves the sport to start a family, she will not be coming back. That said, Chookagian is going to need a big win in her next fight to try to get back into UFC title contention.

Perhaps a fight with Cynthia Calvillo or a fight with Lauren Murphy could be next for Chookagian. Those two were supposed to fight at UFC 254, however, Calvillo fell out of the fight. If Murphy wins, perhaps the UFC looks to book her against Chookagian or they book Calvillo with Chookagian.

Jessica Andrade stops Chookagian at UFC Fight Island 6

Tonight, the UFC Fight Island 6 has delivered some solid action. The co-main event of the evening featured a big time contest in the flyweight division. Former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (21-8) was making her flyweight debut.

She was doing that against the number one ranked contender in the division, Katlyn Chookagian (14-4). Chookagian was coming off of a dominant victory in her last fight against Antonina Shevchenko. While retirement rumors have been swirling, Chookagian was focused on tonight.

As the fight started, the former UFC champion really looked to close the distance. However, Chookagian did well in the opening seconds landing a few shots. Andrade was able to push Chookagian to the fence and land a takedown early.

Chookagian was able to get back to her feet in the first. However, Andrade’s constant clinch work was solid and she landed another takedown late. Again, Chookagian got back up to her feet. However, Andrade hurt Chookagian bad to the body with a massive hook.

Andrade followed up with additional shots. Another giant body shot floored Chookagian for the final time and the ref called it. Incredible flyweight debut for the former UFC strawweight champion.

UFC Fight Island 6 Fallout

UFC Fight Island 6 was a massive statement for the former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade. Andrade was finally fighting in her natural weight class. In her divisional debut, she stopped the top ranked contender.

It is not crazy to think that Andrade could be next in line to face the winner of the Valentina Shevchenko – Jennifer Maia fight. The loss was a crushing defeat for Katlyn Chookagian who was trying to get back to a title shot with a victory tonight.

While there have been retirement talks, I wouldn’t say that Chookagian is done after this fight. I just think that she ran into a buzzsaw in Jessica Andrade. Andrade is going to be a handful for a lot of contenders in the UFC‘s flyweight division.

Will Andrade or Chookagian be victorious at UFC Fight Island 6?

Tomorrow night, UFC Fight Island 6 will take place from Abu Dhabi. In the main event of the evening, there is a title eliminator between Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung. In the co-main event of the evening, there is a fantastic women’s flyweight contest.

Former UFC strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (20-8) will be making her flyweight debut. Standing across from the former champion is Katlyn Chookagian (14-3). Chookagian is coming off of a dominant win over Antonina Shevchenko.

This is a fantastic matchup for a number of reasons. Chookagian is the top ranked contender in the UFC‘s flyweight division. Despite being the top contender in the division, Chookagian has openly talked about the end of her fighting career. An interest wrinkle in tomorrow’s fight.

Andrade won the title at strawweight and she’s competed at bantamweight in her UFC career. This is the first time that Andrade will likely be competing in her natural weight class. She’s going to be very strong and very fast when she enters the cage tomorrow night.

UFC Fight Island 6 Prediction

I was very impressed with what I saw from Jessica Andrade back at UFC 251. Sure, she lost a decision to Rose Namajunas. However, it was the way that Andrade overcame adversity that impressed me. She was touched up early, but she just kept coming forward and hurt Namajunas late.

This is the first time she will be competing in a UFC weight class that feels natural for her. She should have extra energy and speed when she enters the cage tomorrow. Andrade is extremely well rounded, however, she’s known for her incredible power.

Chookagian was able to bounce back big time in her last contest. She used a wrestling heavy attack to stifle Antonina Shevchenko. The win was the third in the last four fights for Chookagian. She will be the much bigger fighter tomorrow night coming in eight inches taller than Andrade.

I think that Chookagian really needs to use her size tomorrow night. If she can stay on the outside and mix in some timely takedowns she can win a decision. However, I just don’t know if I see it. I love the flyweight move for Andrade, and I think her striking and speed wins out tomorrow night.

Prediction: Jessica Andrade by Unanimous Decision