The UFC heads to Uruguay for the first time in the promotion’s history this Saturday, August 10, with a UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship bout set as the main event of the evening.
As always, we here at WagerBop are committed to helping our readers find high-value betting selections on every UFC card. For this event, we’re taking a look at the main event and bringing you a choice that may have otherwise slipped under your radar.
Let’s get started.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche II is the second title fight to air on a non-PPV fight card in 2019.
As the two travel to Uruguay for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night card, this week is the first of four consecutive events coming in the UFC to be headlined by title fights.
In some ways, this fight may be strategically placed on the UFC Fight Night card and not a pay-per-view card considering just how dominant Valentina Shevchenko has been in the division.
Since dropping down from 135 pounds to 125 pounds, Shevchenko remains undefeated after three fights. She got her time in the division underway with a beatdown of Priscila Cachoeira in 2018 before then winning the title in a showdown with former strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
In her most recent fight, Shevchenko destroyed Jessica Eye with a brilliant head kick to defend her title for the first time.
As the division is still in its early days, the UFC is without top-level contenders ready to challenge Shevchenko for her title.
That’s why Liz Carmouche, who is on a two-fight winning streak, got the call-up to face Shevchenko this weekend in Uruguay.
A former title challenger who lost to Ronda Rousey at UFC 157, Carmouche is one of just two female fighters to have recorded a victory against Shevchenko so far. When the two battled in 2010, Carmouche came out on top following a doctor’s stoppage, earning a stoppage win.
She now has a chance to do it again, this time for UFC gold.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche Odds
Who are the fighters picking to win?
The consensus public opinion ahead of this main event at UFC Uruguay appears to be that Valentina Shevchenko will make easy work of Liz Carmouche this time around. The overwhelming majority of fans and UFC athletes believe that Shevchenko is almost unstoppable in the flyweight division and that no fighter in the 125-pound category is even close to the level that is required to defeat her.
James Lynch from The Score MMA recently spoke with fighters about the upcoming fight between Shevchenko and Carmouche and asked for their thoughts.
Of the 11 fighters that Lynch spoke with, just one of them is leaning toward Carmouche to secure the victory in Uruguay.
Ricky Simon shares that although Shevchenko ‘seems unstoppable right now at flyweight,’ he believes that Carmouche’s wrestling will be an important factor in this fight and help her earn an upset victory.
The remaining fighters all give praise to Shevchenko’s outstanding ability as a mixed martial artist. Responses include describing Shevchenko as “unreal,” “incredible,” and even “scary” and go on to share that they can’t see anyone defeating Shevchenko right now. Vicente Luque believes it’s going to take another 6-12 months for anyone in the division to catch up to the level of Shevchenko. That echoes the sentiment of Gillian Robertson, who, in February, stated that a lot of the fighters in the division don’t have a chance against Shevchenko.
“I feel like Valentina is just at a point where she’s so far ahead of a lot of the girls in the division that a lot of people who will challenge her, they just won’t have a chance,” Robertson said.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche Breakdown
While it’s easy to go into this breakdown by pretending like Valentina Shevchenko is some kind of unbeatable force in the flyweight division right now, there are definitely a few areas of weakness that Carmouche can, and may be able to exploit come this weekend.
Firstly, it’s Carmouche’s brilliant top pressure, ground and pound, and jiu-jitsu ability that could be all the difference in this fight. If she is able to get Shevchenko to the mat in this contest, it’s likely that she can make Shevchenko work from unfavorable positions. That fatigue and sense of panic could be enough to narrow the gap on the feet between the two fighters.
However, even if that gap is reduced, Shevchenko is by far the better striker and will likely be a major threat to finish the fight with strikes for as long as this one remains upright. Expect Carmouche to try and close the distance and potentially score takedowns from close-range and the clinch where she excels, however, Shevchenko is unexpectedly strong in those positions herself.
With her superb footwork and excellent timing, Shevchenko should have no problems tagging Carmouche as she tries to close the distance. If this continues through the early rounds, Carmouche will undoubtedly start to become more desperate with her attempts and will open herself up to the danger of being finished.
Whether that’s on the feet or down on the mat, Shevchenko has the finishing ability to end this one inside the distance. And with the small, but evident threat of a potential Carmouche stoppage if things go sour for Shevchenko, we’ll be hedging our inside the distance bet by wagering on this fight to finish inside the distance regardless of who wins.
The current odds for this fight to not make the scorecards are amazingly decent considering the considerable disparity in the stand-up ability of each fighter.
Bet on ‘Fight Doesn’t Go To Decision’: -161 at William Hill