As UFC betting prepares for UFC on FOX 20, Holly Holm prepares to get back in contention for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title. On July 23rd, 2016 Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm will be stepping into the octagon to face Valentina ‘Bullet’ Shevchenko at United Center, located in Chicago Illinois. The event was previously scheduled to be headlined by a bout between Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira, but ultimately Johnson cancelled on June 18th due to personal issues. In his absence Teixeira was removed from the card and Holm vs. Shevchenko is now expected to be headlining. With that in mind let’s check in on the rest of the fight card.
Women’s Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Lightweight: Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez
Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou vs. Bojan Mihajlovic
Women’s Strawweight: Felice Herrig vs. Kailin Curran
Bantamweight: Frankie Saenz vs. Eddie Wineland
Welterweight: Alex Oliveira vs. James Moontasri
Featherweight: Darren Elkins vs. Godofredo Pepey
Welterweight: Kamaru Usman vs. Alexander Yakovlev
Lightweight: Michel Prazeres vs. J.C. Cottrell
Welterweight: Hector Urbina vs. George Sullivan
Featherweight: Jim Alers vs. Jason Knight
Heavyweight: Luis Henrique vs. Dmitry Smolyakov
With Ronda Rousey’s return to UFC betting still not in the books Holm will be looking to put herself in a position to win another title with a win against Shevchenko. Shevchenko, on the other hand, will be looking to earn herself a reputation as this is indubitably the biggest bout of her UFC career.
Holm will be entering this fight with an impressive record at 10-1, and with 70% of her wins coming from knockouts Shevchenko’s priority should be to keep her hands up. Holm will certainly have an edge when trying to land her blows as she stands 3” taller than her Peruvian opponent, and with a reach that’s 7cm longer she’ll be able to swing away while simultaneously sitting back. The Preacher’s Daughter is currently averaging 3.46 significant blows per minutes and she’s ensuring that those strikes land by holstering an accuracy percentage of 35.3%. Holm’s only loss in her career comes from a rear-naked choke performed by Miesha Tate in which she lost her Bantamweight Title. Holm is looking to make her first visit to Chicago worthwhile by relying on her extensive background in boxing to give her an edge over her smaller South-American opponent.
Valentina Shevchenko will be entering this fight at 12-2, and while a quarter of her victories come from decisions, the majority of her wins come from submissions (42%). Shevchenko isn’t swinging as much as Holm; she’s only averaging 2 significant blows per minute. She may not swing as much but she certainly connects more often as her accuracy percentage is a whopping 54%. The 28-year old Peruvian can certainly hold her own in a boxing match considering her accuracy and history in kickboxing, but given the fact that she’s facing Holm she might want to try to get her opponent on the canvas rather than exchanging blows.
The sportsbook have Shevchenko listed as 41/2 (-175) +290 while Holm is the favorite at 41/2 (+155) -350. While UFC betting has made up their mind many fans are not convinced this is such an easy bout to predict. Ultimately, which ever fighter integrates their style into the fight longer will emerge victorious.