A pair of world titles and a must-see motion rematch headlines the UFC’s return to Singapore on Saturday at UFC 275.
Glover Texieira makes the primary protection of his mild heavyweight crown in the principle occasion towards hard-hitting Jiri Prochazka. Within the co-main occasion, Valentina Shevchenko goals for the seventh protection of her girls’s flyweight title when she welcomes Taila Santos.
However probably the most anticipated bout on the cardboard simply may be a rematch of the best feminine combat in UFC historical past when former 115-pound champions Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk meet in a sequel to their 2020 traditional.
Let’s take a better take a look at the most important storylines getting into this weekend.
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1. Will or not it’s one and completed for the ageless marvel as champion?
Teixeira delivered one probably the most memorable feel-good moments in MMA historical past when, at 42, he submitted Jan Blachowicz final October for his seventh straight win to lastly seize UFC gold. Teixeira’s story is a testomony to his arduous work, values and incapacity to surrender hope that tough work would go unrewarded. However nearly as good as that second was, issues solely get tougher from right here as Teixeira welcomes the harmful and unpredictable Prochazka. The 29-year-old former RIZIN champion will get his first shot at UFC title in simply his third journey to the Octagon after debuting in 2020, however the pair of knockouts he delivered towards Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes, each after absorbing punishment early on, was a watch opener to the remainder of the division. Prochazka is a small betting favourite because the challenger given his means to finish a combat at any given second. However the Czech native additionally takes large probabilities and leaves himself susceptible, which is one thing a wily veteran like Teixeira can doubtlessly capitalize on. That is still an enormous if, nevertheless, given the hazard he might want to circumvent in an effort to get there.
2. Santos presents an attention-grabbing problem to Shevchenko’s dominance
Do not forget that time MMA followers and critics thought former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade possessed the best menace to Shevchenko’s dominant 125-pound title reign solely to see her viciously stopped by elbows on the bottom in 2021? The outcome was a testomony to Shevchenko’s insane work ethic and the truth that she’s by no means missing in motivation to arrange to be at her finest. Given how one-sided the vast majority of Shevchenko’s title defenses have been, it has been considerably tough to get enthusiastic about every title protection for the highest rated girls’s pound-for-pound fighter. Santos, a local of Brazil, does provide the potential to droop one’s misgivings. After dropping her UFC debut by way of break up choice towards Mara Romero Borella in 2019, the 28-year-old Santos has gained 4 straight, together with a dominant first-round submission win over Joanne Wooden in November. Will Santos be the one to place an finish to Shevchenko’s growingly historic reign? Let’s not go that far, essentially. However the excellent news is that Santos is a bodily and harmful presence, one which Shevchenko might want to method with care. In contrast to most of Shevchenko’s current title challenges, there’s a potential path to victory followers may think about for Santos supplied the circumstances of the combat went her method, which is why Santos stays round a +450 underdog, which may be the perfect odds a Shevchenko opponent at flyweight may hope for.
3. Is it time for Shevchenko to return to 135 kilos?
Ought to she dominate Santos to the identical diploma she has dealt with her six title defenses since outpointing Jedrzejczyk for the vacant flyweight title in 2018, the reply may be sure. Shevchenko has lengthy coveted a uncommon third likelihood at going through present featherweight champion and former 135-pound queen Amanda Nunes, who owns a pair of victories over Shevchenko at bantamweight, though their 2017 title rematch stays largely disputed. Nunes will face new 135-pound champion Julianna Pena, who upset her final 12 months, in a July 30 rematch and Shevchenko has brazenly coveted the thought of transferring again as much as bantamweight to face the winner to shut 2022. Ought to she deal with Santos with ease, it is very probably Shevchenko may get her likelihood at cementing her legacy and making her case for being the best of all-time.
4. Who enters Zhang-Jedrzejczyk II because the more energizing fighter?
It is a query price debating after the now former 115-pound champions first met in a savage five-round warfare simply two years in the past, which Zhang gained by break up choice for her first (and solely) strawweight title protection. Each fighters accrued super punishment all through a combat wherein neither was prepared to take a backward step. Jedrzejczyk, particularly, confirmed the bodily injury far more with the grotesque hematoma she developed on her brow that one way or the other did nothing to halt her ahead progress. For the reason that combat, nevertheless, Jedrzejczyk has but to return to preventing, which ought to both go away the 34-year-old refreshed upon her return or open up the potential for cage rust. Zhang, who is 2 years youthful but has two extra professional fights than her opponent, has been a lot busier. That hasn’t meant she has gained a combat since then, struggling consecutive defeats to former two-time champion Rose Namajunas, together with the primary by way of head-kick knockout in Spherical 1. Given the unknowns between them, the expectation for two-way motion stays excessive. It is simply tough to know who has the sting, particularly since Zhang’s slender victory within the first combat. The combat can be closely anticipated as a result of UFC president Dana White has declared the winner will get a shot on the title, now worn by inaugural champion Carla Esparza following her victory over Namajunas of their current rematch.
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