In addition to a now confirmed lightweight bout between Gilbert Melendez and Edson Barboza at UFC on Fox 20 in Chicago, two more fights are being targeted for the main card. Fox Sports 1’s UFC Tonight program reported Wednesday that Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko and Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira could both take place on the card.
The Holm-Shevchenko fight is being targeted as the five-round main event for the card, which hits the United Center on July 23 for the fifth UFC on Fox card in Chicago in as many years.
The women’s bantamweight matchup brings Holm back in the cage after losing her title to Miesha Tate at UFC 196, who herself defends that belt two weeks earlier at UFC 200. That was Holm’s first ever MMA loss, coming just a few months after she knocked out Ronda Rousey to capture the belt. Shevchenko, the 28-year-old former kickboxer won her UFC debut by defeating Sarah Kaufman, but was defeated by the next title contender – Amanda Nunes – on that same UFC 196 card in March.
Johnson and Teixeira enter a likely No. 1 contender fight off of respective first round knockout wins. “Rumble” took out Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC on Fox 18 in January, while Teixeira took out Rashad Evans in the UFC on Fox 19 main event.
Penick’s Analysis: Despite the fact that Holm defeated Ronda Rousey, this would be one of the UFC’s weakest Fox main events. Shevchenko doesn’t belong in that fight at this stage in her career, and it getting five rounds over Teixeira-Johnson (though the latter probably doesn’t need it), is an odd choice. That said, they’ve put themselves in a bit of a bind on the “big fight” front, because there are so many events in quick succession coming in July.
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