The UFC returns to prime time and Pay-Per-View this Saturday as the promotion returns to T-Mobile Arena for a night of what should be some big fights. After Nick Diaz’s return and before the main event, two flyweight women will fight for the belt.
In one of the most lopsided (oddly speaking) co-principals in recent memory, let’s look at where the value stays as battle night approaches.
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Betting Profile: Lauren Murphy (15-4-0)
Last five fights
Former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Lauren Murphy will fight for a UFC belt for the first time in her career as she enters it on a winning streak. After knocking out a few big hitters along the way, most recently Joanne Calderwood in June at UFC 263, this will be Murphy’s fourth PPV card in five fights.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Murphy is a flyweight who can strike as well, entering this fight with a touchdown of 3.95 rounds per minute (up from 3.02) while absorbing even more at 4.25 (up from 1 , 99).
BStarting profile: Valentina Shevchenko (21-3-0)
Last five fights
For current champion Valentina Shevchenko, a seven-game winning streak is at stake on Saturday night as she looks to defend her belt for the seventh time in a row. Having not lost since September 2017 (via SD against Amanda Nunes), Shevchenko organized master class after master class in strikes and endurance.
The all-time record holder in the division in wins, KO / TKO wins, title fight wins and a litany of fight metrics; it’s easy to see why she’s such a big favorite in hers. Notably, in this game itself, Shevchenko has a 10% or more advantage in all areas, including big hits (51%), takeout averages per 15 minutes (2.64), and takeout accuracy. (63%).
Simply put, there is no one else for Shevchenko to fight in this division. The # 2 pound-for-pound woman in the world will most likely do the job once more in this one. It’s just a matter of how and when. The market agrees, having seen it go from -800 at the opening to -1700 in some places.
I’m looking for a smashing victory in the co-main of this one with a potentially hidden revenge fight against Amanda Nunes. I like that Shevchenko takes care of business early and gets away with it largely unscathed.
Choice: Valentina Shevchenko Round 1, 2 or 3 -115
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