Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena will clash in the main event when the UFC takes to Denver, Colorado on January 28, with a women’s bantamweight title shot likely awaiting the Sportsbook. There is no doubt that Amanda Nunes has cemented herself as the top dog in the division, but both Shevchenko and Pena have the skills to carry the gold in 2017.
With each woman right behind Nunes in the rankings, books have opened both Shevchenko and Pena at -115.
Shevchenko is a master of sports in more disciplines than I can list and has a black belt in taekwondo and judo. During her professional Muay Thai career, ‘The Bullet’ posted a stellar 56-2 record with a notable victory over 115 lbs champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko is talented in all aspects of the game but does her best work when she can dictate the distance and decide to fight at range or in the clinch.
Pena is 4-0 since coming to the UFC on the back of her aggressive and powerful wrestling ability. As her career has progressed, Pena has developed solid striking techniques to better mask her takedowns, which has only made her a better fighter. ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ has fight-ending power in her hands and loves to pour on ground and pound if she gets top control.