There are a lot of things that i like about the upcoming UFC 215 card in Alberta, Canada on September 9.
First up it is an opportunity to see the ever busy flyweight champ Demetrius Johnson in action again. Always a joy. For me he is the undisputed best pound for pounder in the UFC.
Another thing i like about this card is that it features three Women’s bouts. 3 is the magic number for me. There should always be at least 3 female bouts per UFC card as far as i am concerned. If they are serious about building divisions and activity.
All three of the bouts are from the women’s bantamweight division so it also gives us a chance to have a good look at the current depth and quality there.
However I have to say the most delicious prospect of this card is the facing off Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. Originally scheduled to fight at UFC 213 the bout was dramatically scrapped on the eve of the fight with Nunes pulling out due to some sort of nasal complaint.
Over two months later Shevchenko is still not buying this reason and is still visibly annoyed that it was allowed to happen. As far as Shevchenko was concerned Nunes cut too much weight in the 24 hours prior to the weigh in which left her drained and lacking in strength. Nunes then used a Nasal complaint as an excuse to pull out of the fight. Well that’s her theory at any rate.
She recounts the lead up and disappointment in detail with Fight hub TV during the Mayweather/ McGregor build up in Las Vegas. Well worth a watch.
Nunes has previously beaten Shevchenko at UFC196 in a highly competitive fight that went to decision. However it was only Valentina’s 2nd ever fight in the UFC and was taken on short notice.
Valentina ‘ The bullet’ Shevchenko has a few different bows to her string. Her background is Muay Thai kickboxing and then freestyle Vale Tudo. She has a pretty phenomenal looking K1, Kick boxing and and Muay Thai record. Shevchenko has mixed this up while continuing to perform in MMA right up to 2015.
Incidentally the ‘Bullet’ tag came when she was 12 and competing against a 22 year old in a kickboxing event and knocked her out.
I fancy Shevchenko in this one as her recent performances have been impressive enough against Pena and Holly Holm. I think the extra needle of having to wait two months for the fight also plays in her favour.
The other factor in this is that Nunes seems to me not to be taking the challenge seriously enough and has failed to wreck the devastation on Shevchenko previously that she inflicted on Ronda Rousey. I think Shevchenko has the physical attributes to withstand an early Nunes whirlwind before then implementing her own game plan.
So in summation i reckon the bantamweight title will be playing ring a ring a rosey again and indeed for another while yet until a real dominant force emerges.