Fans are back at UFC 261 for a sold-out crowd of 15,000 filling the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena tonight in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, April 24.
Tonight’s event hosts three epic championships fights, starting in the women’s flyweight division, then moving to the women’s strawweight division, before capping the night off with a welterweight rematch.
The feature bout of the night shows pound-for-pound great Valentina Shevchenko, who looks to defend her prestigious title for the fifth time tonight against former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
Weili Zhang looks to make the second defense of her title tonight against former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, and Kamaru Usman headlines the event opposing Jorge Masvidal, looking to make the fourth defense of his UFC welterweight crown.
They met for the first time at UFC 251, and now they meet for the second time at UFC 261.
We will of course be discussing Valentina Shevchenko versus Jessica Andrade in this particular piece.
Shevchenko came into the bout with a record of 20-3, having avenged one of her defeats, while the other two come to UFC women’s bantamweight & featherweight champion Amanda Nunes, and many believe she should be 1-1 in that series.
She comes into this bout on a six-fight win streak, and her challenger is a serious threat to any female at 115 or 125 lbs. Andrade is a female version of Wanderlei Silva, and she has that one-punch KO power.
The Brazilian tank showcased that in her last fight, her divisional debut, by finishing No. 1 ranked Katlyn Chookagian with a vicious shovel hook to the body in round one.
Andrade also showed that off by KO’ing former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz in round one. Next came a title shot against Rose Namajunas, who she picked up and slammed on her head to pick up the KO victory in round two, and she was now the UFC women’s strawweight champion.
She lost the title in her next bout to Weili Zhang, but now the former champion is 1-0 in her new weight class, and she’s looking to add another belt to her resume.
Continue reading to see how this epic championship bout went down:
Official Result: Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Andrade via TKO (elbows) at 3:19 of round two
Shevchenko comes out and takes the center once the fight starts, and is looking sharp early on, as always.
Her straight punches are looking great, as she’s catching Andrade with a number of jabs and crosses, before Andrade rushes in and immediately gets taken down with a body lock.
Shevchenko lands four more takedowns throughout the first round, going five for five on attempts.
Not long into round two and Shevchenko slams Andrade to the ground hard with another body lock trip.
We at MyMMANews have tried to say for some time now that Shevchenko has the best body lock trip in the entire sport, and she does. She secures it against everyone, and this is the third time of six so far she’s landed straight into Andrade’s side control from it.
Andrade is normally the one slamming her opponents, that KO of Rose Namajunas wasn’t the only time it’s happened, she does it frequently. Andrade is always the stronger party in her fights, she even was often times when she fought at 135 lbs, and she’s just being thrown around tonight.
When Andrade gets up, she can’t take Shevchenko down herself, she just gets tossed down again.
Shevchenko gets Andrade locked into a mounted crucifix after the final takedown and gets the finish with some nasty elbows within a minute of securing the position, marking her second championship victory via TKO from mounted crucifix.
Valentina Shevchenko is such a dominant champion, much like Amanda Nunes, it’s a wonder what’s next for her.
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.