MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR TUESDAY: JESSICA EYE NEXT FOR VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO
We only saw the UFC men’s flyweight title defended by Henry Cejudo with his TKO win over TJ Dillashaw within this past weekend in UFC on ESPN+ 1, and now it loooks as the women’s flyweight name is going to be defended soon, too.
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 leading MMA company is set to give Jessica Eye another title shot at 125lbs. She’ll take on UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko for the title later this year, though White didn’t state when the belt would be defended. With the UFC running three or four cards a month up until June, the advertising had a great deal 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 for a pay-per-view.
White told reporters concerning Eye getting the next 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 following for Shevchenko as they fought on the same UFC 231 card, and now we know that’s really true.
Eye (14-6, 1 NC) has saved her career by making the movement down to flyweight. After struggling with a 1-5, 1 NC album for a bantamweight, Eye is currently 3-0 in 125lbs. She has conquered Kalindra Faria, Jessica-Rose Clark and Katlyn Chookagian in her last three outings in order to get the title shot in the UFC’s newest branch. The fact she’s gone the distance in nine of her 10 UFC struggles is concerning going up from a finisher like Shevchenko who probably has to be stopped so as to beat, but Eye has definitely looked improved at flyweight and her obtaining another title shot is logical.
Shevchenko (16-3) had a 4-2 record as a bantamweight in the UFC, but her two losses came from champion 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 as she destroyed Priscila Cachoeira within her UFC flyweight introduction to find a title shot, then defeat Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 to maintain the empty belt. Outside of the Nunes struggles, Shevchenko has looked unstoppable in the Octagon, and it’s difficult to see anybody at 125lbs giving her much of a struggle when she is so far beyond everybody in the division so far as skill goes.
Clearly this struggle isn’t 100 percent official yet, but it appears likely to be officially announced soon, and when it does the oddsmakers should not have much trouble lining the fight. I’m fully expecting Shevchenko for a huge favorite yet again, opening at least about -500 and possibly being steamed even greater. Shevchenko always gets an enormous amount of support from bettors while Eye traditionally doesnt get much of any, so this isn’t a difficult fight to line. As great as Eye has looked in her recent few fights since falling down from bantamweight, it’s hard to see her being the boxer to shoot Shevchenko’s belt.
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