Who wins the Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko fight, and why?
JOHN KIM, MMATorch Contributor
And still…. Amanda Nunes retains the Bantamweight Championship. When the two fighters met at UFC 196, Amanda had a clear advantage on the ground. I think Amanda will try to take the fight to the ground again. While Valentina’s ground game has improved, I still think Amanda has the advantage there. Nunes by unanimous decision.
ZACK HEYDORN, MMATorch Contributor
First off, she’s already beaten Shevchenko and I must take that into account when looking at this fight. Second, I simply can’t get the images out of my head of Nunes flawlessly wasting Ronda Rousey nearly ten months ago. She’s fast and packs a ton of heat on her punches. If she can do it against one of the best of all time, she can do it here too. I’m going with Nunes via knockout.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist
Shevchenko is really tough, but I think Nunes stops her in the fourth round. I think she batters her and uses her boxing to do damage throughout the fight and it becomes too much for Shevchenko to power through. It’s going to be a hard fought fight, Nunes is really going to have to be at the top of her game, but she can do it. I think it’ll be a really exciting fight that delivers a spectacular finish.
RICK MONSEY, MMATorch Contributor
If their original fight at UFC 196 is any indication as to what will happen in their rematch I think Valentina Shevchenko will win. I know she didn’t get the victory the first time around but she was gaining momentum in the third round as Nunes was seemingly slowing down. With this upcoming fight being five rounds Shevchenko will have the time she needs to let her striking take control and get the decision victory. For Amanda Nunes the key to retaining her title is going for the finish in the first two rounds. If that doesn’t happen Shevchenko will be walking out of this bout as the new champ. As good as this fight seemingly is I can’t help but feel like it’s being overshadowed by Nunes’s drama with the UFC and some of its fans. If Nunes loses on Saturday she might have a hard road back to the PPV main event scene.
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