UFC’s Elites on Collision Course for Must-See Women’s Match

Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes

Getty Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko at the weigh-in for UFC 213.

On Feb. 8 the Toyota Center in Houston will be hosting UFC 247, a card that is relatively top-heavy with two title fights. In the main event, Jon “Bones” Jones will put his light heavyweight title on the line against the surging Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes. In the co-main event, UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko is scheduled to take on the No. 1 ranked contender Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian.

UFC 247 takes place February 8 at 10 p.m. Eastern time. It will air as a pay-per-view on ESPN+.

Order UFC 247 Now

Bullet will be competing in her third UFC flyweight title defense, and she will be taking on a fighter that has only tasted defeat twice in her 15-fight career. The Blonde Fighter is 4-1 in the UFC women’s flyweight division, with her one loss coming via split decision to one of Shevchenko’s recent opponents, Jessica Eye. Chookagian will be in for the fight of her life as Shevchenko is undefeated at flyweight and has garnered wins in the division over former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanne Jedrzejczyk and former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Liz Carmouche.

Shevchenko boasts an impressive professional record of 18-3, and if she gets past Chookagian at UFC 247, she’ll have wins over the highest-ranked women in the division, Chookagian and Eye. There will also be no clear cut contender for her to defend the belt against in her next outing.

But a possible opponent could be a weight class above her. She is a woman who Bullet has faced and lost to twice, and she is also the consensus greatest female fighter to ever live, Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes.

Nunes, who is ranked as the #1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world, and Shevchenko as #2, may be on a collision course to once again meet inside the Octagon.

Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Bullet and the Lioness Have Fought Twice, and the Decision Win for Nunes in Their Second Fight Is Controversial

Nunes is the current UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion and has created a resume for herself that is as impressive as it gets.

She has wins over former UFC champions, including Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Germaine de Randamie and Miesha Tate. She has also gotten her hand raised twice against Shevchenko.

The two fought for the first time at UFC 196 in March 2016, and Nunes earned a unanimous win. Then, they met in a rematch about a year and a half later at UFC 215. After five rounds of an extremely close back-and-forth contest, Bruce Buffer read out the scorecards. He announced to the two warriors and the fans in the arena that Nunes had won the bout via split decision, with the judges scoring the match 48-47, 48-47 and 47-48.

Once the decision was read, boos were rained down into the Octagon by the audience in Edmonton’s Rogers Place. Many fans and analysts scored the match for Shevchenko, and consider the second fight with Nunes a robbery. Here is a video of the decision and both women’s post-fight interviews with Joe Rogan.

UFC 215: Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko Octagon InterviewsCheck out Joe Rogan's Octagon interviews with Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko after their hard fought title fight. Subscribe to get all the latest UFC content: bit.ly/2uJRzRR To order UFC Pay-Per-Views, visit ufc.tv/events Connect with UFC online and on Social: Website: ufc.com Twitter: twitter.com/ufc Facebook: facebook.com/ufc Instagram: instagram.com/ufc Snapchat: UFC Periscope: Periscope.tv/ufc Experience UFC live…2017-09-10T05:14:28.000Z

Typically, when a fighter falls 0-2 to another competitor, there won’t be a trilogy match. The history books will always have it that one combatant bested the other. But it’s different with Shevchenko and Nunes. They have battled to two close decisions, and if Bullet defeats the Blonde Fighter at UFC 247, a trilogy match could be set up by the promotion.

The Women’s Flyweight Division Does Not Have a Clear Next Contender If Shevchenko Defeats Chookagian

The UFC women’s flyweight division has not produced an apparent contender for Bullet if she earns a victory over Chookagian. If you work down the rankings from number one to number ten, it isn’t obvious who should fight for gold next.

The Blonde Fighter is ranked number one, and unless the fight with Shevchenko is exceptionally close, she probably won’t earn an instant rematch. Jessica Eye holds the #2 spot, but she was brutally knocked out by a head kick courtesy of Shevchenko in June of 2019, and has only competed once since then. She did win that fight, which was against Viviane Araujo, but Eye missed weight. It seems like she hasn’t done enough to warrant another shot at Shevchenko.

The #3 ranked UFC women’s flyweight is Joanne Calderwood. She has gone 3-1 in her last four fights and would be a fresh matchup for Shevchenko. But, she’s only on a one-fight win streak since she lost to Chookagian at UFC 238. Fighters have gotten title shots off of losses before, let alone small win streaks. But because her win in her next match was a close split decision, it’s not clear if Calderwood will get the call.

Jennifer Maia is sitting at number four, but she is coming off a loss to the Blonde Fighter, and she missed weight that bout. She also missed weight the fight before that, against Roxanne Modafferi.

Speaking of Modafferi, she has recently entered the top five, at #5, after her highly celebrated underdog victory over Maycee Barber at UFC 246. Barber was actually hyped as the champion’s next opponent, and all she had to do was get past the veteran fighter Modafferi. That didn’t happen. Modafferi defeated Barber in a gutsy performance. The strength of that win may grant her a title shot against Bullet, but the reality is Modafferi has alternated wins and losses since she rejoined the promotion in December 2017, going 3-3.

In the upper half of the top ten, #6 ranked Viviane Araujo is coming off a loss to Jessica Eye, and #7 Lauren Murphy and #8 Andrea Lee are fighting on the undercard of UFC 247. Should Murphy get the win, she will be riding a two-fight win streak and may be considered as Bullet’s next opponent. Conversely, if Lee gets her hand raised, she’ll be back on the winning track. With the timing of this bout being on the same card as Shevchenko vs. Chookagian, the UFC brass may be considering this a top contender fight.

Finally, #9 ranked Maycee Barber and #10 Alexis Davis are both coming off losses.

It is not clear out of the women’s flyweight fighters who would get the call to meet Bullet in the Octagon if she defeats the Blonde Fighter. But one match that would potentially move the needle is a rematch with Nunes for the bantamweight championship. These two fighters have been linked since their first bout, and it would allow fans to watch two of the greatest women fighters to ever live battle it out in a trilogy match.

Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

READ NEXT: Dominick Reyes: Five Fast Facts You Need to Know

Read More
, , ,
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x