UFC 275: Shevchenko Eyes Greater Glory Beyond Young Upstart Santos

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SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JUNE 08: look disconnected during the UFC 275 media time astatine the Mandarin Oriental connected June 8, 2022 successful Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Valentina Shevchenko feels the clip whitethorn beryllium close for her to prosecute the bantamweight rubric again, but Taila Santos is looking to punctual of her of the task astatine manus astatine UFC 275.

#OnThisDay successful 2019, @BulletValentina recorded this 𝙄𝘾𝙊𝙉𝙄𝘾 KO 💥

[ #UFC275 | Saturday | Live connected ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/IEu8bTJ0bA ] pic.twitter.com/Jzc0bzT6JE

— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2022

Valentina Shevchenko sees the unfastened model now, and arguably she ever had the powerfulness to unfastened it herself.  The reigning flyweight champion has tally roughshod implicit the part since claiming golden successful 2018, and is presently neck-and-neck with arguably the champion combatant successful the satellite contiguous successful Kamaru Usman with six consecutive UFC rubric defenses.  She has the powerfulness to instrumentality the pb connected Saturday, adding a young contender to a resume that already lists Holly Holm, Julianna Peña, Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica Andrade, and others.

She should not look past this Saturday.  She should not look past the Alexa Grassos oregon Manon Fiorots making their mode up the rankings.  But “Bullet” sees that the clip is close to crook her crosshairs connected a antithetic target: the bantamweight championship.  While speech of a rematch with Amanda Nunes has been discussed since their past gathering successful 2017, it seems arsenic if Shevchenko feels things person yet aligned for the clip to beryllium right.  She has proven each she needs to astatine flyweight to guarantee her spot successful UFC history.  With Nunes possibly much susceptible than successful years anterior with a caller nonaccomplishment oregon an accidental to champion Peña again, becoming lone the 2nd pistillate two-division champion successful UFC past feels similar the close extremity to prosecute next.

The triumph streak that earned @TailaSa60780340 her changeable astatine the rubric 🏆

[ #UFC275 | Saturday | Live connected ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/IEu8bU0BAa ] pic.twitter.com/SKcwkyUOm9

— UFC (@ufc) June 8, 2022

History has a mode of shattering the best-laid plans.  There are plentifulness of perfectly timed shots passim past that were seemingly thrown by divine involution to shatter those matchups and scenarios that fans had already penciled in.  Taila Santos volition participate Saturday with the proverbial hammer successful her hands, and she carries the cleanable equilibrium of youthful hopefulness and battle-tested acquisition going into the bout arsenic she enters with an awesome 19-1 record.

After going a cleanable 16-0 to statesman her career, Santos returned from a two-year layoff to gain a UFC declaration through Dana White’s Contender Series: Brazil successful 2018.  She would driblet a divided determination successful her promotional debut to Mara Romero Borella, but has since reeled disconnected consecutive victories implicit Molly McCann, Gillian Robertson, Roxanne Modafferi, and Joanne Wood to go 1 of the division’s must-watch prospects.  But portion a contender would usually request to adhd much to their grounds earlier challenging for the title, beingness astatine flyweight successful the Shevchenko epoch means that the hunt for caller challengers tin expedite one’s rubric aspirations.  As such, the presently fourth-ranked Santos is the latest to leap into a rubric bout with a accidental to daze the satellite by taking down arguably the astir talented pistillate combatant successful the satellite today.

The cardinal to a Santos triumph volition beryllium to onslaught with limb kicks and marque Shevchenko a little mobile target.  While the champion is known for her multifaceted game, Santos should look to hamper her question arsenic aboriginal arsenic imaginable to statesman neutralizing the threats coming backmost astatine her.  It is expected that Santos volition person a powerfulness advantage, but she should walk the aboriginal rounds being cautious with her changeable enactment arsenic she looks to adjacent the distance.  Shevchenko is expected to spell to her signature strategy of getting in-and-out with precocious measurement and could look to unit Santos to enactment disconnected her back.  “Bullet” is besides an adept grappler and it is simply a anticipation that instrumentality the astir businesslike way to triumph getting the combat to the ground.

@BulletValentina vs Taila Santos

[ #UFC275 | Tomorrow | Live connected ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/IEu8bU0BAa ] pic.twitter.com/Pvf6qhQuqp

— UFC (@ufc) June 10, 2022

An upset for Santos would much than apt acceptable up an contiguous rematch considering the established dominance of Shevchenko.  A Shevchenko triumph would apt spot her hold to spot who wins successful the bantamweight rubric rematch betwixt Peña and Nunes this July.  While either pistillate would make an intriguing combat for Shevchenko, their timetable could dictate whether oregon not she waits to perchance determination up successful weight, oregon if she decides to look different flyweight successful bid to enactment active.