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The Great Debate: Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

Cory Groeneveld has been on a roll. He beat Justin Peck to win the Great Debate title and has successfully defended it. This time we reach outside of the MMA Takeover staff to find the rightful challenger. David VanBogelen from the Average Joe’s MMA Podcast will challenge Cory for the title. The two will debate the main event of UFC 213, the UFC women’s bantamweight title matchup between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. Cory will be arguing for Valentina while David is backing Amanda.

 

Why Amanda Nunes Will Win by David VanBogelen:

Amanda Nunes walks into UFC 213 this Saturday night in Las Vegas Nevada as the reigning, defending, undisputed UFC Bantamweight champion of the world and she will walk out the reigning, defending, undisputed UFC Bantamweight champion of the world after picking up her second victory over challenger Valentina Schevchenko. Yes, second victory. It’s only been 14 months since their last fight, and Amanda Nunes has grown far more deadly than Valentina will be able to handle.

Since the two faced each other, and Amanda defeated Valentina, the competition each fighter has faced and defeated is leagues apart. Valentina may have topped a struggling Holly Holm and Juliana Pena, but Amanda Nunes went on a tear beating Meisha Tate for the championship (all but beating her into retirement), knocking out Ronda Rousey and sending her packing as well. Amanda took out one for the title and one that defined the title. She’s been fighting champions for the last year and a quarter and winning.

Let’s switch gears to fight styles. Amanda’s power-style of aggression, moving forward, incredible boxing and outstanding BJJ and takedowns pairs up very well against the Muay Thai style of Schevchenko. Aside from already defeating Valentina, Nunes holds a KO win over Muay Thai champion Germaine de Randamie who fights the same style but is a larger, stronger fighter. Amanda knocked out Germaine in round 1. This upright style of Schevchenko benefits Nunes a great deal, allowing her very strong takedown game to take over. Last fight, Amanda took down Valentina twice and controlled her for over 4 minutes of the fight, plus out-struck her as well. Amanda Nunes simply pairs up very well against Valentina Schevchenko.

This is where Valentina will eventually fall. She cannot finish fights. In her entire UFC career, she has a single finish. Amanda, on the other hand, 4 first round knockouts and 2 first round submissions in the UFC alone. Amanda is a finishing machine. She knows how to go in and take control of the fight from the very moment the ref says go, and should have the gas tank to run the distance if need be with wins by decision as well. Amanda is smart enough to find her opponents flaws within mere moments, exploit the flaw, and end the fight. Only one fighter in the history of the bantamweight division is tied with 6 finishes. Her name is Ronda Rousey. When Amanda finishes Valentina at UFC 213, we’ll have a new record holder.

Amanda Nunes is just far more dominant, aggressive, and intelligent in the fight game than Valentina Schevchenko and that’s why this guy is fully confident that this Saturday night we will hear the words “And Still.”

I predict Amanda Nunes by 2nd round TKO

 

Why Valentina Shevchenko Will Win by Cory Groeneveld:

This weekend we get a treat with UFC 213. The main card features many great fights that you will not want to miss. One of those fights is the main event that features women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes taking on challenger Valentina Shevchenko. Both women come into this fight looking great. I am going to tell you why at the end of the night we will have a new champ in Valentina Shevchenko.
First off both fighters come into this fight with great wins in their last two fights. Nunes currently on a 5 fight win streak and winner of the last 7 of 8 has finished both Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey in the 1st round of her last two fights. On the other end, Shevchenko has also won 7 of her last 8 fights including a decision over Holly Holm and a submission of Julianna Pena in her last two fights. So both fighters come in with high confidence and expect to come out victorious.
Both Nunes and Shevchenko fought each other at UFC 196 where Nunes came out victorious with a unanimous decision. That was different back then. Both fighters were not really well known then. At the time it was only Shevchenko’s second UFC fight where it was Nunes’ sixth fight in the UFC. So at the time Nunes had more experience in the UFC and had fought fighters like Germaine de Randamie, Cat Zingano, and Sara McMann.
This second time I expect the fight to be different and to have a different outcome. One thing with Nunes is that she finishes her fights quickly. Four of her five last fights were finished in the 1st round. That is a little scary. So for Shevchenko to wins this fight her defense will need to be excellent that first round. She needs to play great defense and wear Nunes out. The one fight the Nunes didn’t get a finish in during her 5 fight win streak was against Shevchenko. So she has proven that she can play great defense and stand in there and go punch for punch with Nunes.
The thing that can go against Nunes with all these first round finishes is her cardio. There have been many questions about her cardio. Can she go 5 rounds and win a fight? If you look back to the first fight between Nunes and Shevchenko, Nunes started to fade as each round went on. In the third round, Nunes looked gassed and Shevchenko was able to get a couple takedowns and land more significant strikes than Nunes, but she couldn’t get the finish she needed after losing the first two rounds to Nunes.
The difference in their first fight was Nunes advantage on the ground. However, Shevchenko’s ground game looked so much better against Julianna Pena. She was able to defend several takedown attempts, while also getting a takedown herself. She also displayed a slick ground submission game by picking up an armbar win. Nunes doesn’t have as much of an advantage on the ground than she had 14 months ago.
With that being said I expect Shevchenko’s defense to be great once again. She was able to stand in there and last 5 rounds with a great fighter in Holly Holm and out strike her and has already proven she can stand in there for 3 rounds and go punch for punch with Nunes (and won most exchanges). I expect Shevchenko will fight with great defense and push this fight to the 5th round. Expect Nunes to slowly fade each round to where she will be extremely gassed and vulnerable in the 5th. Expect Shevchenko to take advantage then and finish Nunes with a TKO in the 5th round and become your new women’s bantamweight champion. I predict Valentina Shevchenko by 5th round TKO. 
We would like to thank David for contributing to our segment. Make sure you check out his fantastic show called the Average Joe’s MMA Podcast. You can find and follow the show at the following links.

 

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