One of the most dominant champions in the UFC will return to UFC 261 when the women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko puts her championship on the field against former straight champion Jessica Andrade, UFC President Dana White told ESPN. UFC 261 takes place on the 24th of April at UFC EX in Las Vegas.
Shevchenko is running on a winning streak with six matches, which includes five wins in a row in championship matches. In his most recent outing, Shevchenko overcame a stiff challenge from Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 in November. In his UFC career, Shevchenko has suffered only two defeats, both against Amanda Nunes, the consensus’ biggest fighter in women’s MMA history. The second defeat came in a bid for the women’s bantamweight title, in which Shevchenko lost a narrow split decision.
Andrade just won the title in May 2019 with a slam knockout by Rose Namajunas. She lost the title in her first defense and suffered a lost knockout for Weili Zhang in less than a minute. After a loss to the Namajunas in their rematch, Andrade made a switch to that flyweight division.
Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in martial arts from two of the best in the industry. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.
In his first fight with the new weight, Andrade turned to a Performance of the Night-winning effort by beating Katlyn Chookagian out in less than a round. This victory secured her a shot at Shevchenko in what is perhaps the most high-profile match available at £ 125.
The UFC 261 card is still under development, but is also expected to include the rescheduled middleweight fight between former champion Chris Weidman and UFC Pillar Uriah Hall.