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Shevchenko vs Joanna Betting Odds

The vacant UFC women’s flyweight championship is on the line as former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is returning to the flyweight division for the first time since 2014 to battle Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko at UFC 231 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The two competed three times in Muay Thai with Shevchenko winning each fight and she is a -350 favorite with Jedrzejczyk coming back at +265.

Odds Analysis

Many people are going to want to jump on Jedrzejczyk at plus-money due to familiarity and public fandom over the lesser-known Shevchenko. This is the first time these two enter the Octagon against each other but Bullet does have three Muay Thai victories over Jedrzejczyk, the only three losses in her 40-fight Muay Thai career. Both fighters have similar styles, although Joanna tends to be more of an aggressor while Shevchenko relies more on her counter-striking. I won’t be surprised if this line shifts more in Jedrzejczyk’s favor as we near the event and if the line moves to -200 or less for Shevchenko, you should grab it.

Breaking down Shevchenko vs Joanna

Shevchenko (-350) was competing in the bantamweight division before the flyweight division opened up in December 2017. Bullet had a 3-2 record inside UFC’s bantamweight division with her two losses coming against current champion Amanda Nunes, one loss by a unanimous decision and the second by split decision in an extremely close fight at UFC 215. The 30-year-old made her UFC flyweight debut in February in dominant fashion. She outstruck Priscila Cachoeira 230-3 before she finished the fight with a rear-naked choke in the late stages of the second round, putting the entire flyweight division on notice.

The southpaw was supposed to fight for the flyweight belt at UFC 228 but then-champion Nicco Montano was hospitalized ahead of their weigh-ins and was stripped of her title shortly after. This will be one of the longest layoffs for the Kyrgystan native in her career but I don’t anticipate any ring rust ahead of this match at UFC 231.

Jedrzejczyk (+265) appeared to be unstoppable, having won her first 14 professional MMA fights, including going 8-0 in the strawweight division. Additionally, after winning the title in 2015, she defended it five times, one shy of Ronda Rousey’s record for most defenses by a female fighter. That is all before she ran into Rose Namajunas at UFC 217 when she was finished via TKO in the first round. The Poland native got an immediate rematch at UFC 223 and was beaten again, this time via unanimous decision. She did get back in the win column at UFC on Fox: Calgary with a unanimous-decision win over Tecia Torres.

Joanna has an aggressive Muay Thai style in which she throws plenty of knees and elbows to batter her opponents. The former champion also has fantastic cardio that has allowed her to keep a furious pace through five rounds with no issue. Jedrzejczyk has five professional fights in the flyweight division, none in the UFC, and she has a perfect 5-0 record, earning two wins by T/KO, one by submission and two by decision.

This will be the first time Jedrzejczyk is an underdog since she closed as a +140 dog against Carla Esparza to win the UFC strawweight belt in 2015, a fight in which she earned a second-round knockout. She is an aggressive fighter, which is exactly what Shevchenko wants as she will load up on her punches and look to counter. Bullet will also have a slight reach advantage that she will be able to use when Jedrzejczyk moves in to attack. Regardless of how it plays out, expect an excellent fight when these two experienced strikers enter the cage at UFC 231.

UFC 231: Valentina Shevchenko vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk Betting Odds
Valentina Shevchenko-350
Joanna Jedrzejczyk+265

Odds as of December 7 at Bovada