The Great Debate: Shevchenko vs Pena

By Cory Groeneveld and Garrett Kerman

We are back with another great debate, this time we are debating the main event of UFC on Fox 23 Valentina Shevchenko vs Julianna Pena. Cory Groeneveld is backing Shevchenko, while Garrett Kerman is making his Great Debate debut by backing Pena.

Reason Why Shevchenko Wins by Cory Groeneveld:

This weekend we get a great matchup between Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena. A fight that is almost evenly matched with Vegas giving the slight favorite odds to Shevchenko. Both fighters know going into this fight that the winner will most likely get a shot for the bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes.
Even though I could see either fighter winning this match I am going to make my case why I think Valentina Shevchenko will come out on top. Shevchenko has to be feeling good about where she stands in her career right now coming off a big win over Holly Holm in her last fight. Even though that was back in July the confidence that she can beat anyone at any moment has to still be there. When a fighter that can strike as good as Shevchenko can, having the confidence she has can go a long way.
When I look back at the Holm fight Shevchenko was very patient. She waited for Holm to attack and caught her with many counterstrikes. Which ultimately lead her to a unanimous decision. Look for her to do the same this Saturday against Julianna Pena. Pena is a very aggressive fighter. Can sometimes get a little sloppy and leave herself open in her aggressiveness. If Shevchenko can be patient and get aggressive with the counterstrikes again I see a TKO coming. One thing Shevchenko needs to avoid, is this fight going to the mat. Pena is by far the more superior wrestler of the two. If and when they do get to the mat Shevchenko’s defense will need to be spot on to get out and get this fight back to their feet. If this turns into a fist fight its all over for Pena. Remember Shevchenko was able to survive being on the ground with Amanda Nunes on top of her for two rounds, and was picking apart the future women’s bantamweight champion on the feet in the 3rd round.
Like I said I see Shevchenko coming out and being patient and waiting to land those counterstrikes. I see the first 2 rounds going all Shevchenko’s way. With that being said and knowing she needs to win round 3, I see Pena coming out swinging trying to make up ground. All this is going to do is leave holes open for the patent Shevchenko to make her move and end this match with a TKO in the 3rd round.


Reason Why Pena Wins by Garrett Kerman:

In the main event we have Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena vs Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko in what appears to be the winners chance to face current Woman’s UFC Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. I have said for the longest time that Pena deserves a title shot after tearing through the bantamweight division ever since she came into the UFC on the Ultimate Fighter. This will not be an easy task in taking on Shevchenko, but I feel that her size and power will overcome the advantage that Shevchenko has on her feet. Pena will be the aggressor right out the gate as she typically is and will pressure Shevchenko to fight with her back against the cage. Once she gets Shevchenko down Pena will show that she is the much stronger fighter and grappler, which will present a big challenge for Shevchenko. For those reasons I am so confident in Pena that I am taking her to finish Shevchenko before it goes to a decision, preferably with a flurry of ground and pound elbows to a TKO victory.


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