Saturday, May 13, 2017

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko to co-main event July 8 UFC show

At yesterday's Summer Kickoff press conference in Dallas, the UFC announced that Amanda Nunes will defend her UFC  Women's Bantamweight Championship against Valentina Shevchenko on UFC 213 July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Obviously we have known about this for a while but now the date and location are confirmed. Of course these two fought before and I'll get to that in a minute. But I wanted to talk about fighter patterns. All fighters have established skills and most of them don't change once those patterns are established. Some fighters lie about that but that's another story. So it was a big surprise when Valentina won her last fight over Julianna Pena with an armbar. That's because Valentina is a championship caliber kickboxer but her ground game is elementary at best. Julianna was winning the fight when she left her arm hanging and Valentina grabbed it and the fight was over. It's likely Valentina would have lost the fight otherwise. Mistakes are part of MMA and Valentina deserves credit for taking advantage of Julianna's mistake. It doesn't make her a BJJ or wrestling ace. She got lucky. The funny part is afterwards when she was asked about it, Valentina said she has finished fights with an armbar before. That was 11 years ago. Amanda's pattern is pretty much what we saw in their first fight. Amanda dominated the first two rounds and then ran out of gas and almost lost in the third round. Her endurance is her primary weakness. So I expect Amanda to try to finish this fight in round one. And if Valentina can withstand that onslaught, she has a chance to win in the later rounds. Amanda's pattern is early finishes so that's what I expect.

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