The main event this weekend in Uruguay is a women’s flyweight title bout between the current champion Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche.
There is a history between the two as they fought once before outside of the UFC back in 2010.
Besides her two losses to women’s bantamweight and featherweight Champion Amanda Nunes, Valentina’s only other loss came to Liz Carmouche via 2nd round TKO doctor stoppage.
In the years following her win over Valentina, Liz carmouche eventually went on to debut in the UFC against Strikeforce champion Ronda Rousey in the UFC’s very first women’s bout at UFC 157 in 2013.
Carmouche has had her ups and downs with wins and losses at bantamweight but is currently 1-2 at flyweight, riding a 2 fight win streak with both wins coming via unanimous decision.
Before her last bout against Lucie Pudilova, Carmouche spoke to me about her rigorous underwater training routine which she said has enabled her to double her workload when it comes to training and preparing for a fight. Carmouche is strong, durable and certainly won’t be lacking in cardio.
After her last fight I asked her how it would go down between her and Valentina if they were to rematch. She explained that at the time she was expecting to face Valentina’s sister, and on short notice went up against the more experienced Valentina Shevchenko. Although she came out with a win that night, she believes this time around will be completely different with her ten year experience playing an advantage.
Valentina Shevchenko on the other hand will be making her second title defence since capturing the title at UFC 231 against Joanna Jedrzejczuk. Her first title defence saw the Muay Thai specialist KO Jessica Eye with a brutal head kick, knocking the challenger out cold. Not only did this earn Valentina a performance of the night bonus, the finish will be remembered as one of the greatest technical knock outs in women’s UFC history.
Shevchenko is a force to be reckoned with at 125lbs and is slowly climbing the pound for pound rankings, currently sitting at No. 13. She is extremely technical with superior striking and as we have seen before can finish the fight on the ground or on the feet.
Both women enter this rematch just under ten years on from the first. They will not be the same fighters they once were when they stood toe to toe for the first time. I predict the rematch to go the distance, with the champ Valentina out-striking Carmouche to a unanimous decision.