vs Katlyn Chookagian
Shevchenko will be back in the Octagon to defend her Flyweight title against Chookagian in February 2020 at Toyota Center in Houston after a very boring fight against Liz Carmouche. Anyone who saw that fight said that it was one of the worst title defences in a very long time. Judges scored the fight 50-45 for Shevchenko as Carmouche was just hitting air instead of Shevchenko. Valentina on the other hand didn’t even try to pour some vicious combinations on Carmouche and was more of a defensive fighter.
Chookagian is coming back after a close call against Jennifer Maia when they fought at UFC 244 in November 2019. It was a pure stand-up fight. Chookagian is currently 6-2 in the UFC and she was awarded a title shot after her last performance and due to a fact, that pretty much nobody in the women‘s flyweight division is available.
Shevchenko is mostly a stand-up fighter. She is a former kickboxing champion, where she won many world championships. Her Muay Thai/Kickboxing is phenomenal and is often regarded as one of the best in the world. Her exceptional usage of spinning kicks and elbows gives trouble to anyone, who faces off against her. She has very fast hands and she often counters her opponents with fast right hook. She was able to develop her ground game as well and whenever it’s needed to take the fight to the ground, she does not hesitate to shoot for a takedown. She has only lost to Amanda Nunes and Liz Camourche. Fights against Nunes were very close and many believed that Shevchenko was the winner in both fights. She could have been the Bantamweight champion instead of being the Flyweight champion. Valentina has good takedown defense and it is very hard to get hold of her as well. There are not many flaws in her game and she is yet to lose in a dominant way, where someone would expose her.
Chookagian is also a stand-up fighter who however avoids the ground game as much as possible. Chookagian could be described as an aggressive fighter who always pushes forward and is not afraid to stand and trade. Her long and slim body gives her advantage when it comes to boxing as she is able to hit and not getting hit. She is like Shevchenko more of a Muay Thai fighter as she likes to use her kicks and knees to strike. Chookagian is not afraid to use some more unusual strikes like side kicks to the body or to the head. She is however rather weak on the ground as Liz Camourche dominated her back in 2016. Chookagian also does not possess a lot of power as she was only able to finish 2 fights by KO.
In this fight Shevchenko is a betting favourite and everyone could agree to that. She is far more complete fighter than Chookagian, has fought better and tougher opponents, has been in 5-round wars and she is more experienced than Chookagian. Shevchenko is a favourite anywhere this fight goes. On the ground, Valentina has developed her ground game to the level, where she is able to dominate her opponents and soften them up for TKO or submission. Standing up, Shevchenko is a better defensive fighter and does not mind fighting with her back towards the cage. If this goes to the judges‘ decision, which it mostly likely will, she will be far better prepared for 5 rounds than Chookagian.