MMA Preview – Nicco Montano vs Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC 228? Sunday 9th September, 2018 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 228? American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

What channel is UFC 228 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC 228? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

Are tickets still available for UFC 228? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

The first women’s title defence for the UFC flyweight is upon us at UFC 228. Since winning The Ultimate Fighter finale in December 2017 for the inaugural championship, Nicco Montano has been unable to defend her title due to injuries and health issues putting the whole division on hold before it even got started.

Thankfully, we get to see Montano but unfortunately for her, she has the toughest possible match-up for her first defence. Valentina Shevchenko is one of the most talented and decorated fighters in MMA and remained at the top of the bantamweight pile. However, the bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes proved her kryptonite and squeaked two narrow decision wins against her – her only losses in the UFC.

THE PREDICTION

Montano will be an overwhelming underdog but she was also an underdog in The Ultimate Fighter tournament as the 14th seed. This was a poor judgement call as she convincingly powered her way to the finale and grinded down the veteran Roxanne Modafferi for five rounds.

On paper, Shevchenko has it all and has proven it by out-striking the likes of Holly Holm and out-grappling Julianna Pena. She will be confident wherever the fight goes but you can’t sleep on the grit and determination of Montano who is a fighter in every sense.

Her grappling is the only likely route to victory and she will have to rely on her strength and cardio to obtain any control. However, considering Shevchenko’s record at 135 lbs and 125 lbs being her more natural weight class, we could witness the start of a lengthy title run for the Kyrgyzstani.

Winner: Shevchenko via Submission

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric