Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes defends the UFC women’s bantamweight title against Valentina ‘The Bullet’ Shevchenko at UFC 215 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada on September 9th, 2017.

Keep our Fingers Crossed

The rematch between these two bantamweights is finally happening. But still, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

These two were supposed to headline UFC 213 last month but after making weight, Amanda Nunes inexplicably pulled out of the fight after she ‘fell ill’ and despite being cleared by UFC doctors to fight. And despite criticisms, she wasn’t stripped of her belt and the fight was rebooked to UFC 215.

Nunes beat Shevchenko by unanimous decision during their first meeting at UFC 196. But during that fight, Shevchenko finished strong and exposed a lot of holes in Nunes’ game. Nunes went on to become world champion and Shevchenko rose from the ranks by beating the likes of Holly Holm and Julianna Pena.

Lines Have Changed

Nunes opened as a -125 favorite against Shevchenko’s +105 when this rematch was first scheduled for UFC 213. This time around, the lines have changed and it’s Valentina Shevchenko at -125 and Amanda Nunes at +105.

No doubt this is going to be another dogfight between these two strikers. Amanda Nunes is a fantastic finisher with her fists, having stopped 13 of 14 opponents. But the one opponent she couldn’t finish was, well, Valentina Shevchenko.  During their first fight, Nunes started out fast but lost steam in the end. She walked away with the victory but not after getting pummeled by the Bullet.

Mental Edge

Shevchenko may not have Nunes’ power but she has the more diversified attack, thanks to her Muay Thai background. Shevchenko is patient and calculated and she has the counter striking skills to frustrate Nunes. Nunes has the edge in power and athleticism here. But when it comes to skill, technique and more importantly cardio, it’s Shevchenko.

You got to wonder why Nunes pulled from UFC 213 when she was cleared by the doctors. Well, she said she felt ill. But if she was, then why was she cleared to fight? Something tells me Nunes is sick with Valentina-itis. The Bullet is inside her mind. That mental edge could be a big factor in this fight. So will be Valentina’s cardio, skill level and counter striking. We’re picking Shevchenko to become the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

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