UFC 261: Jessica Andrade vs Valentina Shevchenko Picks, Odds, and Predictions

UFC 261: Jessica Andrade vs Valentina Shevchenko Picks, Odds, and Predictions Photo by USA TODAY via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade

Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:00 PM (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)

The Line: Jessica Andrade +350 / Valentina Shevchenko -450 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade fight Saturday in UFC 261 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Valentina Shevchenko enters this fight with a 20-3 record and has won 35 percent of her fights by submission. Shevchenko has won eight of her last nine fights and is coming off a November win over Jennifer Maia. Shevchenko is averaging 2.98 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Shevchenko is averaging 2.21 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 58 percent. Shevchenko is coming off a decision win at UFC 255 where she landed 249 total strikes and produced five takedowns. Shevchenko has now won each of her last six fights and three of her last five wins have been decisions. Shevchenko is arguably the most efficient striker on the women’s side, as she’s highly accurate with her attempts and has good variety thanks to her background in kickboxing and Muay Thai. Shevchenko has an impressive work rate and can overwhelm her opponent once she gets comfortable. Shevchenko is very effective with counters and knows how to close distance well that set up those leg kicks nicely. While her stand up striking is probably where she’s most comfortable, Shevchenko has seven career submissions and a black belt in Judo, so don’t sleep on her grappling and ground game. At 33 years old, Shevchenko can continue this impressive run for a while and she’s had this belt since December of 2018. This will be Shevchenko’s second career fight in Florida.

Jessica Andrade enters this fight with a 21-8 record and has won 38 percent of her fights by knockout. Andrade has won eight of her last 11 fights and is coming off an October win over Katlyn Chookagian. Andrade is averaging 6.38 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Andrade is averaging 3.11 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 57 percent. Andrade is coming off a first round knockout at UFC Fight Island 6 where she landed 62 total strikes and produced two takedowns. The bout was Andrade’s flyweight debut and the victory earned performance of the night. Andrade is fighting for a belt for the first time since UFC Fight Night 157. Andrade is a pressure fighter who usually gets the best of her opponent on her feet with constant wild punches and a lot of pop behind her strikes. Andrade is violent standing up and has a great ground and pound, and while she’s known for her striking, she’s also a successful takedown artist with seven submission victories on her resume. A black belt in BJJ, Andrade has the upper body strength to get a fight wherever she wants it and her aggressiveness and brute power makes her one of the scarier fighters on the women’s side. This will be Andrade’s second career fight in Florida.

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There’s a path to Andrade winning this fight, as she has pop in her hands and the upper body strength that would give her an edge with takedown attempts or on the ground. The issue is Andrade will have to go through some shots to close the distance or get Shevchenko in the clinch. Shevchenko is the much bigger fighter in terms of height and has a four-inch reach advantage. Shevchenko has also made things look way too easy during this winning streak, as she’s picking apart her opponents left and right. You shouldn’t be running to the window to step in front of Shevchenko.

Give me Shevchenko to win inside distance to shave down the expensive ML price.

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Randy’s Pick Valentina Shevchenko Inside Distance

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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