pm2 1

Shevchenko vs Maia: does Jennifer have a Bullet-proof vest?

shevchenko maia analysis
fightingirishmma.com

Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will defend the title against Jennifer Maia in the UFC 255 co-main event. Does the Brazilian mixed martial artist have a Bullet-proof vest?

Valentina Shevchenko stats

Shevchenko has been competing in MMA since 2003 and has amassed a whopping record of 19-3. Bullet signed with the UFC in 2015 and faced Amanda Nunes in a bout for the UFC bantamweight title 2 years later, but she lost by split decision. Valentina moved down to flyweight and won the vacant belt in the 125-pound division after beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2018. From 2019 through 2020, Shevchenko defeated 3 title contenders: Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche and Katlyn Chookagian. She is now ranked third in the UFC women’s P4P rating.

Jennifer Maia stats

Maia started her professional career in 2009. Her record stands at 18-6-1. The Brazilian earned the interim Invicta FC flyweight title in 2016, defended it twice and transitioned to the UFC in 2018. She has won 3 of 5 bouts in the promotion and is currently ranked third at flyweight. In her last contest, Jennifer beat Joanne Calderwood and got a “Performance of the Night” bonus for a brutal finish in the first round.

Matchup stats

Jennifer lands 34% more significant shots, but Valentina absorbs 38% fewer strikes.

ufc

Shevchenko has a great advantage in grappling because Maia has never made takedowns and submission attempts in UFC fights.

ufc

Shevchenko vs Maia preview

Jennifer got a black belt in Muay Thai and trained in boxing. Valentina has a black belt in taekwondo, and she is a master of sports in Muay Thai, boxing and taekwondo. Furthermore, Bullet has won 8 gold medals in the IFMA World Muaythai Championships and is a 2-time champion of the World Combat Games. Therefore, Valentina is a much more experienced and skilful striker. Bullet throws punches and kicks less frequently, but she is more accurate and has a better defense. Besides, Maia’s arsenal of shots is less diverse as she focuses on punches. Valentina, on the other hand, is one of the most versatile strikers.

Shevchenko earned a black belt in judo, while Maia got a black belt in BJJ. However, Jennifer uses wrestling skills defensively and prefers fighting on the feet. Valentina has a high takedown accuracy; thus she will be able to bring the bout to the canvas, if she wants to. Moreover, Bullet has perfect timing for a double or single leg, which highly increases a success rate of her takedown attempts.

Valentina outperforms her opponent on all key stats. Therefore, she has a massive chance to be victorious. Bullet won 67% of bouts by KO/TKO or submission. But Jennifer suffered 67% of losses by decision. However, the contest will unlikely reach the time limit due to Shevchenko’s significant superiority in grappling and striking. Valentina beat Eye in the second round and Chookagian – in the third. Thus, she is expected to finish Maia before the fourth heat.

The most probable fight results

  1. Valentina Shevchenko to win (3/50); 
  2. Total rounds under 3.5 (7/10).

Disclaimer: Fight analysis is not a betting tip or a gambling advice of any sort. Our experts determine the most likely outcome of a sporting event based on statistics and personal views. Therefore, the actual result of a competition may differ from the predicted.