The UFC heads to Singapore this weekend for UFC 275. We have a great card on tap with two titles on the line. Glover Teixeira defends his light-heavyweight belt against Jiri Prochazca in the main event. In the co-main, Valentina Shevchenko goes for her 8th straight title defense against Amanda Lemos. A lot of ways to attack this slate. Let’s take a look at some fighters to target.
Valentina Shevchenko $9600 – I don’t think there are many solid options above 9k. Valentina Shevchenko has averaged 127 fpts in her past three fights, which is hard to ignore. She scores well either with her dominant counterstriking, takedowns, or early ending of the fight. Taking down Jessica Andrade 7 times and beating her at her own game speaks volumes. Shevchenko, in my opinion, is the pound-for-pound best women’s fighter on the planet, and honestly, she’s one of the more well-rounded fighters on the planet, regardless of gender. The thing that is so amazing about Shevchenko is it seems she just gets better with every fight. Some say that Taila Santos is her toughest test to date, and honestly, I don’t think that’s the case. Santos show’s nothing that Shevchenko hasn’t seen before. Santos is a good grappler with above-average striking, but she is nowhere near the caliber of Shevchenko. Again, Valentina will score well with volume, takedowns, and control time. Wherever the fight goes, Shevchenko is better, and she should score north of 110 fpts on Saturday. She won’t be in 100% of my lineups, but she’ll be in most of them.
Andre Fialho $8500 – I once thought that Jake Matthews was a solid prospect, but as his career has progressed, I haven’t seen the improvement I thought I’d see. He has solid performances at times, but he hasn’t been consistent. On the other hand, Andre Fialho is a guy I’ve had my eyes on for a while. Fialho has been in my lineups in his past two fights. He took out Miguel Baeza as an underdog and delivered his last time out in the first round as a heavy favorite. The only way Matthews can win this is by getting this fight to the ground, and I think Fialho’s takedown defense is good enough to defend. On the feet, Fialho has a significant advantage. Fialho is coming into his own, and his boxing is better than Mathews. Not only is his boxing better, but Fialho also hits extremely hard, and while Matthews has only been knocked out once in his career, he hasn’t fought a guy with the power of Fialho. I think Fialho has been the busier fighter trending upwards, while Matthews’ career has just been stagnant. Fialho has a perfect shot at ending this early.
Others to consider: Danaa Batgerel, Jack Dellamaddalena
Teixeira/Prochazka – I think most would agree that this fight shouldn’t go the distance. I favor Jiri in the first two rounds, but the longer the fight goes, the more I favor Glover Teixeira. Jiri is an exceptional striker, no question. However, he fights with his hands down and has been known to get caught defensively. Teixeira also is highly durable and is very strong on the ground. I favor Glover here, but this should be a great fight.
I like a few dogs here, so I’ll be quick here.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk $7400 – Joanna’s layoff is concerning, but I think she can win and score well on sheer volume.
Jacob Malkoun $7200 – Malkoun is a straight-up grinder with exceptional cardio. Brendan Allen’s ground credentials can’t be ignored, but his fight IQ can’t be overlooked. When shit gets sketchy, I don’t like Allen’s decisions in the octagon. Malkoun trains with Robert Whittaker, and I love what I see from this guy. This is a winnable fight for Malkoun, in my opinion.
Maheshate $7800 – I loved his performance on the contender series. This is a step up in competition, but Maheshate is a live dog, in my opinion.