The UFC is back at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas with 14 exciting fights. The headliner is the clash between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, but there are plenty of other interesting bouts. One of those is the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy.
This is going to be the sixth time Women’s Flyweight Champion Shevchenko (21-3) is defending her title. She did it successfully in the previous five fights, each of which saw her fighting off an elite fighter. This time, she’s squaring off with Lauren Murphy (15-4), who doesn’t have a too impressive fighting portfolio.
Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy Odds (UFC 266)
All odds are per DraftKings as of September 23.
Method of Victory
|Valentina Shevchenko by knockout||-120|
|Lauren Murphy by knockout||+2500|
|Valentina Shevchenko by submission||+330|
|Lauren Murphy by submission||+2800|
|Valentina Shevchenko by decision||+240|
|Lauren Murphy by decision||+1800|
|Over 4.5 rounds (fight to go the distance)||+200|
|Under 4.5 round (fight not to go the distance)||-280|
Where and When to Watch
Date: Saturday, September 25, main card starts at 7 PM PDT
Location: T-Mobile Arena in Vegas
Watch: UFC Fight Pass
Shevchenko to Defend Her Title for the Sixth Time?
Valentina Shevchenko is a female GOAT contender, who’s been the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion since December 2018, when she defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk in the title bout at UFC 231. Since then, she went on to defend her championship fight on five occasions, beating Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Katlyn Chookagian, Jennifer Maia and Jessica Andrade.
Not only is she the queen of the flyweight division, but she also did well in the bantamweight class in the past. Still, she wasn’t as successful. In fact, all three of her career defeats happened while she was competing in the bantamweight division.
The first one happened after a doctor’s stoppage against Liz Carmouche. The other two were against Amanda Nunes, who’s the current no. 1 in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings. Actually, Nunes is the only player who’s ranked higher than Shevchenko, and her main rival for the GOAT status.
The reason behind Shevchenko’s success is that she’s an all-around fighter. With a background in kickboxing, she’s great at counter-striking. Furthermore, she’s a fantastic grappler who’s made breathtaking take-downs against such UFC greats as Jéssica Andrade and Holly Holm.
Proof that she’s a Swiss army knife of a fighter is that, of her 21 wins, seven happened by knockdown, seven by submission, and seven by decision.
Can Murphy Cause one of the Biggest Upsets in the UFC History?
Lauren Murphy might be #3 in the UFC women’s flyweight rankings, but she’s just a level below Shevchenko when fighting abilities are concerned. Her career record is 15-4, with 11 of those 16 fights happening under the banner of the UFC. Unfortunately for her, all four defeats she’s suffered so far happened while fighting for this promotion.
Another fact showing that she’s nowhere near Shevchenko is that she hasn’t beaten too many elite fighters so far. Actually, the highest-ranked fighter she’s won against is Joanne Calderwood, who’s currently #6 in the women’s flyweight rankings.
Pick: Valentina Shevchenko by knockout