Valentina Shevchenko has her fourth title defense set as she will battle Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251 on June 6.
Calderwood was the presumed number one contender for Valentina Shevchenko following the champs UFC 247 win and now has received her chance at gold. The news of the fight was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Breaking: Valentina Shevchenko’s (@BulletValentina) next title defense will come against Joanne Calderwood (@DRkneevil) at UFC 251 on June 6. Both sides have agreed to the fight, per sources. More details coming to ESPN shortly. pic.twitter.com/PkjiYdnn0D
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 20, 2020
“Breaking: Valentina Shevchenko’s (@BullettValentina) next title defense will come against Joanne Calderwood (@DRkneevil) at UFC 251 on June 6. Both sides have agreed to the fight, per sources,” Okamoto tweeted.
Valentina Shevchenko is coming off of a dominant third-round TKO win over Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247. Before that, she scored a decision victory over Liz Carmouche. In her first title defense, she had a beautiful head kick knockout over Jessica Eye at UFC 238. To win the belt, she had defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231.
The 31-year-old is considered one of the top female pound-for-pound fighters of all-time. Before the flyweight division was introduced Valentina Shevchenko fought at bantamweight. She even earned a title shot against Amanda Nunes. But, she lost by split-decision in a fight many thought she won.
Joanne Calderwood, meanwhile, returned to the win column last time out with a decision win over Andrea Lee at UFC 242. In the fight before, she lost to Chookagian by unanimous decision to snap her two-fight winning streak where she had defeated Ariane Lipski and Kalindra Faria.
The current location of UFC 251 is unknown at this time. But, UFC president Dana White recently said they would be looking to book Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway 2 for that card, so perhaps it is in Australia.
There is no question Valentina Shevchenko will be a big favorite in this fight, as she is in all of her bouts. But, the fighter from Scotland has certainly earned her shot at UFC gold.
Who do you think will win the fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/19/2020.