MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR TUESDAY: JESSICA EYE NEXT FOR VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO
We only saw the UFC guys’s flyweight title defended by Henry Cejudo together with his TKO win over TJ Dillashaw over last weekend in UFC on ESPN+ 1, and it loooks like the women’s flyweight name will be defended shortly, as well.
According to UFC president Dana White, who talked to reporters after the UFC’s introduction event on ESPN in Brooklyn, New York, the world’s top MMA organization is set to provide Jessica Eye another title shot 125lbs. She’ll take on UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko for its title later this year, though White didn’t say when the belt would be defended. Together with the UFC running three or four cards per month until June, the promotion had a lot of holes to match and Shevchenko vs. Eye makes sense as a principal event for a Fight Night card on ESPN+, or maybe even as a co-main occasion to get a pay-per-view.
White told reporters about Eye getting another title shot after someone asked him when Joanne Calderwood — who predicted Eye out following her decision win over Ariane Lipski — was in line to fight for the name. There were rumors Eye was going to be next for Shevchenko since they fought on the exact same UFC 231 card, and now we know that is indeed the case.
Eye (14-6, 1 NC) has saved her career by making the move down to flyweight. After struggling with a 1-5, 1 NC record as a bantamweight, Eye is currently 3-0 at 125lbs. She’s conquered Kalindra Faria, Jessica-Rose Clark and Katlyn Chookagian in her last three outings so as to acquire the title shot at the UFC’s new division. The fact she has gone the distance in nine of her 10 UFC struggles is about going up from a finisher such as Shevchenko who probably needs to be stopped in order to beat, but Eye has definitely looked improved at flyweight and her obtaining the next title shot is logical.
Shevchenko (16-3) had a 4-2 record for a bantamweight from the UFC, but her two losses came from winner Amanda Nunes and she had to make a move down in weight in order to get another title shot. Moving down to 125lbs has been demonstrated to be a great move for her since she ruined Priscila Cachoeira within her UFC flyweight introduction to get a title shot, then beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 to claim the vacant belt. Outside of this Nunes struggles, Shevchenko has looked unstoppable in the Octagon, and it is difficult to see anyone at 125lbs giving her much of a struggle when she is so much beyond everybody in the division so far as ability goes.
Obviously this struggle is not 100 percent official yet, but it seems likely to be formally announced soon, and once it does the oddsmakers shouldn’t have much trouble lining the fight. I am fully expecting Shevchenko to be a huge favorite however again, starting at least about -500 and being steamed even greater. Shevchenko always receives a tremendous amount of aid from bettors while Eye traditionally doesnt get much of any, so this isn’t a hard struggle to line. As good as Eye has appeared in her latest couple of fights since falling down from bantamweight, it is difficult to see her being the boxer to take Shevchenko’s belt.
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