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Valentina Shevchenko has grown accustomed to formidable challenges and, in fact, welcomes them with open arms.
“Bullet” will defend her undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight crown against Jessica Andrade in a UFC 261 co-feature on Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Shevchenko enters the cage on the strength of a six-fight winning streak. She last appeared at UFC 255, where she took a unanimous decision from former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Jennifer Maia in their five-round encounter on Nov. 21. Andrade, meanwhile, has rattled off eight wins in 11 outings. She last competed at UFC Fight Night 180 in October, when she put away Katlyn Chookagian with a volley of first-round body punches.
As Shevchenko and Andrade prepare for their pivotal confrontation, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
33: Years of age for Shevchenko, who was born on March 7, 1988 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
7: Shevchenko wins by submission, accounting for 35% of her career total (20). Her methods of choice: four rear-naked chokes, two armbars and one Ezekiel choke. Shevchenko owns six other victories by knockout or technical knockout and seven more by decision.
18: Takedowns landed by Shevchenko as a UFC flyweight, placing her first on the promotion’s all-time list at 125 pounds. She ranks ahead of Gillian Robertson (16), Roxanne Modafferi (14), Montana De La Rosa (12) and Joanne Calderwood (11).
93: Significant strikes by which Shevchenko outlanded Priscilla Cachoeira before submitting her with a rear-naked choke 4:25 into the second round of their UFC Fight Night 125 mismatch on Feb. 3, 2018. It remains the biggest statistical blowout in the history of the UFC women’s flyweight division.
868: Days spent by Shevchenko as undisputed women’s flyweight champion. She captured the 125-pound title on Dec. 8, 2018, when she laid claim to a five-round unanimous decision over Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the UFC 231 co-feature.
29: Years of age for Andrade, who was born in Umuarama, Brazil, on Sept. 25, 1991.
8: Andrade wins by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 38% of her career total (21). Her list of victims includes Rose Namajunas, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Penne. Andrade owns seven other victories by submission and six more by decision.
400,000: Dollars in post-fight bonus money banked by Andrade across her 18 appearances in the UFC. She has earned “Fight of the Night” honors on four occasions and “Performance of the Night” on four others. Andrade’s eight bonuses are the most by any female fighter in UFC history.
4: Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts in which Andrade has connected with least 100 significant strikes. She landed 206 of them in a unanimous decision over Rosi Sexton at UFC Fight Night 30, 117 of them in a second-round technical knockout of the aforementioned Penne at UFC 199, 131 of them in a unanimous decision over Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night 104 and 141 of them in a unanimous decision over Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117.
.701: Cumulative winning percentage between the eight women—Namajunas, Jedrzejczyk, Maia, Weili Zhang, Raquel Pennington, Marion Reneau, Liz Carmouche and Kinberly Tanaka Novaes—who have defeated Andrade. They hold a combined record of 108-44-2.
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