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UFC 228: Nicco Montano vs Valentina Shevchenko Betting Odds

The women’s flyweight title will be on the line when the UFC sets up shop at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas for UFC 228 on September 8. Reigning champion, Nicco Montano, will be making her first title defense against former bantamweight challenger Valentina Shevchenko. Montano opened as a huge +450 underdog with Shevchenko coming back as the -600 favorite.

It’s not very common to see the challenger open as the favorite to upset the champion the last one that comes to mind is Conor McGregor being the -140 favorite in his lightweight bout with Eddie Alvarez, who came back at +110, at UFC 205. However, these odds may be warranted as Shevchenko has just two losses over her five fights in the UFC, both coming by close decisions against current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. ‘Bullet’ dropped to 125 following her split decision loss to the aforementioned Nunes at UFC 215 and put in a devastating performance in her debut.

Breaking down Montano vs Shevchenko

Montano (+450) has above average wrestling which was on full display when became the first women’s flyweight champion with her unanimous decision over Roxanne Modafferi at the TUF 26 finale. The New Mexico native secured three takedowns against a tough Modafferi and managed to complete five passes while on the ground. On the mat, Montano has great ground-and-pound and in her TUF 26 finale fight, she landed an average of 7.44 strikes per minute. One area of weakness for the champ is her striking defense as Modafferi landed 5.28 significant strikes per minute in their December bout.

Shevchenko (-600) has tremendous Muay Thai skills and her explosiveness makes her a legitimate threat to claim the belt. ‘Bullet’ is a true 125 pounder that was competing in the 135 lbs division throughout her UFC career because the flyweight division wasn’t established yet and at bantamweight, Shevchenko scored wins over Sarah Kaufman, Julianna Pena and former champion Holly Holm. In her UFC flyweight debut, Shevchenko put on a dominant show over Priscilla Cachoeira where she out-struck her opponent 230-3 and finished the fight with a second-round submission. The fight should have been finished in the first after vicious ground-and-pound but referee Mario Yamasaki let the fight go.

I’m always game for a good underdog bet, but this isn’t the fight to do it in. Shevchenko has outstanding striking, standing right in the pocket daring her opponents to engage with her. If they so choose to attack ‘Bullet’ her counter striking will cause misery for her foe. Montano’s strongest area is her wrestling but going to the mat with Shevchenko is dangerous as she has won her last two fights by submission. With threats in all aspects of the game, -600 odds for Shevchenko seem appropriate.

nicco Montano vs Valentina Shevchenko Betting Odds
Nicco Montano+450
Valentina Shevchenko-600

Odds as of July 27 at BetOnline