Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche
|Date & Time||Saturday August 10, 2019, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Carmouche +702 / Shevchenko -948 -- Over/Under:
Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 156 at the Antel Arena.
Valentina Shevchenko enters this fight with a 17-3 record and has won 41 percent of her fights by submission. Shevchenko has won 10 of her last 12 fights and is coming off a June win over Jessica Eye. Shevchenko is averaging 3.36 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Shevchenko is averaging 2.06 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Shevchenko is coming off a devastating head kick knockout victory that had Eye laying on the canvas for a long period of time, and it was to the point where you questioned if something was seriously wrong. It was a completely dominating performance from the 31-year-old and has many questioning if she’s the best pound for pound on the women’s side. Shevchenko will now fight for the fourth time since last year and is defending her belt for the second time. Shevchenko isn’t the most powerful fighter on the women’s side, but you could argue she’s the most efficient, as she’s highly accurate with her strikes and has a 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 her timing down. 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. This will be Shevchenko’s first career fight in Uruguay.
Liz Carmouche enters this fight with a 13-6 record and has won 46 percent of her fights by knockout. Carmouche has won four of her last five fights and is coming off a February win over Lucie Pudilova. Carmouche is averaging 2.49 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 57 percent. Carmouche is averaging 3.16 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 68 percent. Carmouche looked sharp in her last fight where she landed 71 percent of her strikes and produced three takedowns. Each of Carmouche’s last seven fights have gone the distance, but she’s finally seeing consistent results in the UFC and is fighting for a title for the first time since fighting Ronda Rousey in UFC 157. Carmouche has a defensive and sometimes passive approach that can make her fights sometimes tough to judge and a bit boring to the casual fans. Carmouche does have some pop in her strikes and is very effective with her ground and pound, but she can sometimes be hesitant to let her hands go and usually waits for her opponent to make the first move. Still, a military woman, Carmouche has a high fight IQ and will certainly respond once she’s under attack. It’s all about getting to that point sooner and being the aggressor from the start, something Carmouche will have to do if she has any shot in this bout. This will be Carmouche’s first career fight in Uruguay.
This price is quite steep when you consider Carmouche is starting to put things together, looked good in her last fight and beat Shevchenko during C3 Fights: Red River Rivalry nine years ago. That has to count for something, along with the fact Carmouche has never been knocked out and has the conditioning to be effective for five rounds. Carmouche may not be super aggressive offensively, but she’s tough and has the confidence of knowing she already beat Shevchenko. With that said, Shevchenko is a much more complete fighter than she when was in her early 20s, and she’s quickly become one of the scariest fighters on the women’s side with little weaknesses. After two controversial decisions against Amanda Nunes, I’m not sure anybody truly wants to step in the octagon with Shevchenko.
Shevchenko is going to hold onto this belt for a long time.