UFC 255: Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia- Prediction and Analysis

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November 20, 2020 11:55 am

The co-main event for UFC 255 sees Valentina Shevchenko defend her flyweight strap against game challenger Jennifer Maia. ‘The Bullet’ comes in as the favorite to come out on top in the five-round affair, and it’s easy to see why. Valentina Shevchenko has been nothing short of a dominant force right from the get-go, and she’s managed to easily dispatch her opponents.

The women’s flyweight division’s full of high-level competitors looking to make a massive splash in the company. In fact, the main card plays host to yet another women’s 125-pound bout between Katlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo. All eyes will be on the aforementioned match-ups to determine the manner in which the division will shape up.

UFC women’s flyweights: Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia

The undisputed champion from Kyrgyzstan is a finishing machine, and she hasn’t lost since September 2017 to Amanda Nunes. Moreover, she’s stopped 3 of the next 5 opponents she’s faced- by violent fashion no less. It seems as though the aura around her makes even dangerous title challengers crumble.

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: (L-R) Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan kicks Jessica Eye in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The 19-3 fighter has masterful striking, and she’s able to incorporate a wide arsenal of kicks into her offense. Chiefly, her cache of weapons seems endless, however, she utilizes ax kicks, side switch kicks, and crosses like no other. Furthermore, she uses body locks to great effect and can virtually ground her opponent at will.

Jennifer Maia: An upset in the works?

Jennifer Maia went 3-1 in her last four outings and she clinched a title shot after submitting Joanne Calderwood in round 1. She holds wins over solid UFC competition, but some of her best work was on display at Invicta FC. Maia became a player in the UFC flyweight division after being consistent throughout 2019.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 01: (L-R) Jennifer Maia of Brazil punches Joanne Calderwood of Scotland in their flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 01, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Brazilian fighter is extremely comfortable on the canvas, and her striking has proven to be unorthodox. Additionally, her opponents haven’t been able to break down her timing. What’s more, she’s extremely durable and hasn’t been finished since March 2012. Despite the well-rounded tools she brings, getting past Valentina Shevchenko will probably require more specific skills than what Jennifer Maia has exhibited.

Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko to claim a unanimous decision victory

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Darryl Pinto

Darryl Pinto is an MMA and boxing author for EssentiallySports. His love for combat sports began when Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fought back at UFC 117 in an epic clash. He has competed in collegiate MMA tournaments as an amateur. Darryl is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mass Media from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai.

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