The UFC is preparing for their first event in Uruguay this weekend and it will be headlined by a women’s flyweight title fight with some history attached to it.
Valentina Shevchenko will defend her 125-pound title against former bantamweight title challenger Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC Uruguay, which emanates from the Antel Arena in Montevideo. Shevchenko and Carmouche have a bit of history together heading into this fight with the challenger holding a victory over the champion.
In September 2010, Carmouche defeated Shevchenko in the C3 Fights promotion. The fight was stopped by the cage-side doctor after the second round due to a cut opened up on Shevchenko.
Calling the action in Uruguay on Saturday from the best seat in the house will be none other than Brendan Fitzgerald. When it comes to the history these two ladies have with each other — and the potential mental edge Carmouche may have holding a win over Shevchenko — Fitzgerald doesn’t believe it will not hold much water in this fight. A lot can change in nine years.
“No, I don’t think it plays a factor,” Fitzgerald told The Body Lock.
“With what they say and who they are… I mean, we’re nine years removed. I hate to think of 2010 as almost 10 years ago because it makes us all that much older, but it’s crazy. It’s nine years ago. Not only do you have nine years of growth and training, neither of them were in the UFC, life has changed so much in terms of where they lived, where they train.
“I’m 36-years-old, life was a little different at 27. Here I am in Las Vegas. I’ve lived in five different places since then. I can’t really compare anything in my life that’s happened with back then. It doesn’t really matter, plus it was a doctor’s stoppage win. When you hear Valentina tell the story, she said, ‘I thought that she was bleeding, I guess I was bleeding and the doctor said, no, stop! And the fight was over.’ That’s her loss to Liz Carmouche.
“Certainly, we’ll see a big favorite in Shevchenko, but Carmouche is a tough person to finish and a tough person to beat. She almost finished Ronda Rousey in that first one, too. She has the game plan and the ability to be a tough fighter to go against. Shevchenko isn’t as big of a favorite (when the lines came out) as she was against Jessica Eye. Who knows?”
If you ask most MMA fans and media members, even as tough as the challenger is, they will probably tell you that a Carmouche win on Saturday would prove to be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Of course, anything can happen when two human beings are locked in a cage with the purpose of finishing the other. Fitzgerald agrees that if Carmouche were to shock the world on Saturday in Uruguay, there would certainly be a discussion to be had.
“I don’t know where it ranks because there’s been a lot of big upsets, but in a title fight, yes. It would certainly be one of the bigger ones without question,” Fitzgerald explains. “Shevchenko just looks so unbeatable with her skills, her ability, her power and her athleticism is on a totally different level. She seems to be the longer fighter. I’m not going to say this would be the biggest upset of all-time, but it would be right up there. And they would probably have to run it back, right?”
Shevchenko has been on an absolute tear since dropping down to 125-pounds, picking up devastating finishes of Priscila Cachoeira and Jessica Eye, and her championship-winning dominant unanimous decision over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231.
Although Shevchenko has come up short in two other opportunities, and in the era of the “Super Fight”, “The Bullet” is still being linked to current women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Shevchenko has expressed her interest in getting that third opportunity, but Fitzgerald believes that there are still a lot of viable challenges for Shevchenko in the always emerging women’s flyweight division.
“I don’t think we need to rush back into it,” Fitzgerald said. “If Shevchenko keeps winning, she’s going to find her way to another fight with Nunes. But I don’t like to rush it. There’s more things that need to be done.”
Earlier this week, Fitzgerald also gave his thoughts on the UFC Uruguay co-main event between Vicente Luque and Mike Perry.