UFC 231: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Valentina Shevchenko preview

Former strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk meets Valentina Shevchenko for the vacant women’s flyweight title on Saturday night in Toronto, Canada.

With Nicco Montana having been stripped of the flyweight title, Shevchenko, who was due to fight Montana in September now faces off against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-2) on Saturday night.

With weight cut issues of her own, Jedrzejczyk moves up to flyweight and takes on dangerous submission specialist, Valentina Shevchenko (15-3) who was almost pulled from the fight altogether to go up against Sijara Eubanks in New York last November.

Thankfully though, this fight held together and we now get to see two of women’s MMA elite go toe to toe in Canada on Saturday night.

THE STYLES

Pressure is a key element in how Joanna Jedrzejczyk likes to pursue her opponents and is one of the most relentless strikers in women’s MMA.

The former champion at 115lbs finally got back to winning ways against Tecia Torres earlier this year and and looks to take out an equally impressive ground specialist.

Shevchenko is well rounded and more than has the tools to stand with Jedrzejczyk should she choose to but her obvious strength is her ground game and has seven submission finishes to her credit.

THE FIGHT

As odd as it sounds, Shevchenko would probably be wise to allow Jedrzejczyk to pressure forward and close the distance and bait her into a false sense of security and look for a trip to take the fight to the canvas where she clearly has the advantage.

That being said, if Shevchenko chooses to go this route, Jedrzejczyk could easily land something clean and turn the fight on its head very early on.

When you look at the skillset of these two combatants, they both like to engage early and often but Jedrzejczyk has been clipped by Rose Namajunas in the past and is susceptible to being finished because of her wild unrelenting style.

If Shevchenko does get Joanna to the canvas, it could be a really long night for the Polish native and Shevchenko has the superior skills in this department to potentially give Jedrzejczyk her first submission loss of her career.

THE VERDICT

This is probably going to be a very simplistic way of putting things but if the fight stays standing, Joanna has a great chance.

If the fight goes to the mat, it’s likely going to be a Shevchenko victory.

That being said, Jedrzejczyk’s chin has been tested and she failed that exam against Rose Namajunas the first time they fought and if the Pole gets reckless, she could very well get clipped by Shevchenko who does have a very sneaky counter jab in her arsenal.

Prediction – Valentina Shevchenko via submission, Round 3

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