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The Co-Main event comes in the Women’s Flyweight division, as Champion Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko makes her seventh title defense against challenger Taila Santos. A dominant force, Shevchenko has largely cleared out the Flyweight division. With eight straight wins, and little to no resistance, the Bullet may be looking to challenge for the Bantamweight title after this fight. Meanwhile, Santos comes into this fight on a four-fight win streak. Having taken out several top fifteen foes along the way, the Brazilian appears to be up to the task of challenging for the belt.
No disrespect to Santos, as she is one of the stiffer test Shevchenko will have faced in the Flyweight division, but ain’t no one beating the Kyrgyzstan Hit Woman. Currently the number one women’s pound for pound fighter, in my eyes at least, Shevchenko is simply on another level. A complete fighter, Shevchenko is mainly a striker who is simply put, calculated and dynamic. With immense physical strength and cardio for days, the Champion isn’t someone that can be bullied or fades during fights. Add excellent wrestling and grappling, and it’s hard not to find anything but strength’s in Shevchenko’s game.
Trying not be completely dismal of Santos, the Brazilian has a well crafted game herself. A powerful striker with debilitating leg kicks, Santos has proven to be a real problem on the feet. Recording three knockdowns in the last two fights, Santos certainly has a puncher’s chance to cause a disruption in this fight. With strength and wrestling as well, Santos has shown that she can get her foes to the mat – landing thirteen takedowns in six fights inside the octagon.
As for a prediction, if there was any doubt, I have Shevchenko. She’s leaps and bounds above the rest and until she finally goes up to challenge for the Bantamweight title, I can’t see her facing any resistance at this time. If I were to be honest, Jessica Andrade was Shevchenko’s toughest test. In ways, Santos is similar to her fellow Brazilian, but I’d favor Andrade if they ever fought. Nevertheless, I believe Shevchenko gets it done via TKO.