UFC Women's Flyweight Champion Nicco Montano is a considerable underdog despite entering as the champion in her title fight against Valentina Shevchenko. The Ultimate Fighter Season 26 winner defends her title for the first time after being sidelined with injuries.
Montano (4-2) defeated Roxanne Modaferri last December 2017 to become the inaugural Women's Flyweight Champion. She has a tough task ahead of her as Shevchenko (15-4) is pegged as the -600 favourite against Montano, who is at -450 as the underdog according to OddsShark.
Montano is not new to being tagged as the underdog. She was ranked no. 14 out of 16 competitors at the Ultimate Fighter but manage to emerge as the winner.
Coming into the fight with Shevchenko, she said "it's definitely and advantage. The scenario is kind of a win-win for me." Furthermore, she said that she has already made history and that there will be no stress on her shoulders.
What to expect
The champion Montano is a wrestler with tremendous power as shown in her fights at The Ultimate Fighter, as well as the finale where she defeated Modaferri for the title. Her ground game is impressive as seen in the amount of damage she is able to inflict on her opponents.
Her striking ability is underrated as she can also manage to hold her on on the feet however, she has a problem when it comes to her striking defence as she happens to absorb unnecessary damage. Despite Montano's convincing work on the ground, her ability to finish is also a big question mark.
The challenger Shevchenko brings in more fight experience fighting both in Kickboxing and MMA. Striking is her go-to but can also manage to hold her own on the ground as she has seven wins via submission.
She fought a close decision against bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes before going down to her natural weight class of 125lb. Her first fight in the division was against Priscila Cachoeira, who she dominated en-route to a Performance of the Night.
Bottom line is, their ground game can possibly be a toss up given Shevchenko's background in Judo while the striking game definitely goes to the challenger.
"I think it will be an entertaining fight for sure" says Montano.
Do you think Montano can defy the odds once again? Will Shevchenko finally hold UFC gold? Let us know your pick.
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