Valentina Shevchenko Style & Form
Valentina Shevchenko is one of the most complete female fighters to ever step into the octagon, and her career record speaks for itself. Shevchenko has an MMA record of 21 wins and three defeats. She only suffered defeat twice in the UFC, both being decisions against the juggernaut of the Bantamweight division Amanda Nunes.
Following her move down to Flyweight, Shevchenko found nothing but success. She won the vacant Flyweight title in a furious clash against Joana Jedrzejczyk. She went on to defend her title a whopping five times against tough competition.
It’s her unique skill set that separates her from other fighters in the UFC. Schevchenko spent years fighting in different K1 and Muay Thai competitions around the world, but she also holds black belts in Taekwondo and Judo. Her durability is something that has to be mentioned. Schevchenko has never been properly knocked out in her MMA career. Her only TKO loss was due to a doctor’s stoppage, and not even knockout specialist Amanda Nunes could put her away.
Lauren Murphy Style & Form
The 38-year old fighter from Alaska has yet to seize her first UFC title. In fact, this is her first attempt at any UFC belt, coming after a five-fight winning streak. Murphy holds an MMA record 15 wins and four losses. After winning just one of her first four fights in the UFC Bantamweight division, Murphy moved down to Flyweight and found instant success. Since then, her record stands at 6-1 and her form has improved significantly.
Lauren Murphy doesn’t have a very specific fighting style, but the one thing she does have is immense power in her hands. Eight of her 15 MMA wins have come via KO/TKO, and she can bang with the best of them. In fact, her striking and knockout power is what made her so interesting to watch. But Murphy has been investing in her grappling, and now holds a brown belt in BJJ. She also got her first-ever submission victory at UFC 254 with a rear-naked choke against Liliya Shakirova.
Just like Shevchenko, Lauren Murphy is extremely durable. All of her career losses have come via decision, and she has yet to be knocked out. However, she hasn’t exactly been fully tested yet, and Shevchenko has the best hands in the Flyweight division to get it done.
Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy Prediction
Valentina Shevchenko is the better fighter in this one, and the bookmakers have her as the dominant favourite. She is available at 1.09 to win, whilst Murphy is valued at 9.00.
It’s difficult to find value in fights like this, and Lauren Murphy simply doesn’t provide enough of an argument in order to have my vote. Her opponent is simply too overpowering and a master at striking.
It all comes down to the manner in which we think Valentina will take the victory. I don’t think she will be trying to grapple against Muprhy, and I don’t think she will be willing to go to the ground. Shevchenko likes to finish fights when she can, and the best way to get it done is with a KO/TKO. The 5-round co-main event will give her more than enough time to get the job done, and everyone knows how deadly of a striker she is.
Shevchenko vs Murphy Prediction: Shevchenko by KO, TKO or disqualification at 1.83 odds. Stake: 10/10