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When it comes to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), there is certainly no rest for the wicked and with another of their numbered events soon on the horizon, those involved in UFC 266 will soon be making their final preparations for September’s event.
An event which will see the female of the species once again enter the octagon and when the legendary Valentina Shevchenko is on the fight card, it is fair to say that an explosive evening of MMA action lies in wait.
That’s because the Las Vegas, Nevada based star, is someone who can certainly pack a punch or two and with the 33-year-old currently possessing the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship, she is one of the dominant forces within the company.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) September 11, 2021
To the point where her ability to both punch and kick, are two attributes that have seen her stay on top of the Flyweight mountain for some time and at UFC 266, Shevchenko will be making her sixth defence of the title.
A defence that comes against Lauren Murphy and although the challenger can not be considered a slouch by any stretch of the imagination, there is a sense that the Alaskan is going to be in for a rather tough evening.
An evening that as well as tough, may not be all that long – that is if the champion is in the mood for destruction and when you look at Shevchenko’s overall MMA record, it is a mood that she often finds herself in.
Coming into the UFC 266 Semi-main event, the Kyrgyzstan-born fighter, currently stands at 21-3 and has won each of the last seven fights that have taken place under the banner of Dana White’s combat circus.
Not since UFC 215 has Shevchenko come up short and when you consider who she came up short against, there is absolutely no shame in losing to someone of Amanda Nunes’ stature – especially as it was only by virtue of a split decision.
While it would also be remiss to forget that this particular scrap was one that was held at Bantamweight and with Nunes having an obvious advantage because of it, it arguably holds the person she beat in higher stature.
Because returning to Flyweight, it has been a path of destruction as far as “Bullet” is concerned and for those who are looking to place a bet on this upcoming fight, checking out a Fox Bet review is something that comes highly recommended.
With Shevchenko being such a force over the past couple of years, backing her to win against Lauren Murphy is arguably one of the shrewder bets you will make and looking at the current odds, it seems as if Fox Bet share this same confidence.
Then again, the beauty of the UFC is that every combatant has at least a fighter’s chance when they enter the octagon and when you look at the fight record of Lauren Murphy, her chance is not all that slim.
Because the 38-year-old has worked her way into championship contention by winning her last 5 UFC sanctioned fights and although there were some early blips during her time with the world’s number one MMA league, those early losses are seemingly a thing of the past.
Not only that, but she enters the octagon at the end of the month with a more recent victory than her opponent and after getting the better of Joanne Calderwood at June’s UFC 263, positive momentum is now on her side.
Now though, the challenge is to continue that momentum and if that is to be the case, then it is going to have to be continued the hard way – especially as there is perhaps one criticism of Murphy’s fighting style.
One that relies on judges’ decisions rather than brutal knockout power and if the gameplan is to take the UFC 266 bout to five rounds, it may well be a plan that only ends up spectacularly backfiring at the same time.
Then again, being too keen and wanting to take the fight to Shevchenko, is only something that will lure her into a trap and therefore a game of cat and mouse awaits. A game that only one of these fighters will win and whoever wins, will leave the octagon as Women’s Flyweight champion.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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