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UFC 251’s Shevchenko expected to be massive favorite once again

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Fresh off another decisive finish at UFC 247, Flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) already knows whom her next title defense will come against.

It’s been confirmed that Glasgow’s Joanne Calderwood (14-4) will be up next for the dominant world title holder. The bout will take place at the UFC 251 pay-per-view event on June 6th. A location for the event has yet to be announced.

Calderwood, a 10-fight UFC vet, has emerged victorious in 3 of her last 4 bouts, with her lone loss in said stretch coming to Shevchenko’s latest victim, Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision last summer in Chicago. The soft spoken TUF 20 fan favorite has a stellar record of 6-4 since joining the UFC ranks with two finishes.

Shevchenko has been a huge favorite for each of her three title defenses since defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk on a late 2018 December night in Toronto. Each of those defenses have seen “Bullet” close in the -800 to -1000 plus range making her the most feared champion in the sport today. Opening odds have yet to be revealed for this contest as it was just announced late last night.

While there are certainly levels to this game — we can fully expect Shevchenko to be a massive favorite ahead of this contest once again — Calderwood’s kickboxing pedigree and penchant for violence gives her a slightly better chance than Valentina’s last three opponents. And that, well, isn’t really saying a whole lot.

It goes without saying that Shevchenko is a handful of steps ahead of every single fighter at 125 lbs right now in the striking game. And she’s in her prime. We give Calderwood a punchers (watch out for those knees and elbows as well) chance in this one.

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