The 29-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and former strawweight champion is set to take on defending UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 261, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.
The 125-pound title fight will take place at the April 24 pay-per-view event, for which the UFC hasn’t yet finalized a location. It will mark Shevchenko’s fifth attempted title defense.
Shevchenko (20-3) has dominated the weight class since she dropped to 125 pounds from 135 pounds in 2018. She won the vacant belt by defeating another former strawweight champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk in late 2018, then has looked more or less unbeatable in defenses against Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Katlyn Chookagianand Jennifer Maia.
Andrade (21-8) is widely perceived as the greatest threat to Shevchenko’s reign.
She won the UFC’s 115-pound championship by knocking out Rose Namajunas in May 2019 before surrendering the belt to current champ Zhang Weilithree months later. She moved up to the 125-pound division in October, and scored a first-round knockout over Chookagian.
ESPNranks Shevchenko and Andrade the No. 2 and No. 6 female pound-for-pound fighters in the world, respectively.
Cynthia Calvillo could be returning to the Octagon in the near future…
The UFC is close to finalizing a flyweight fight between the 33-year-old Latina mixed martial artist and Katlyn Chookagianfor UFC 255 later this month, according to ESPN sources.
Contracts haven’t been signed yet, but the bout will take place on November 21 in Las Vegas once it’s official.
It’s good timing for the 125-pound contender fight, as the UFC 255 pay-per-view event features flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko defending her title against Jennifer Maia in the co-main event.
Calvillo (9-1-1) catapulted herself into flyweight title contention with a five-round decision over former title challenger Jessica Eye in June. That was Calvillo’s flyweight debut in the UFC. She accumulated a 5-1-1 record as a strawweight prior to the move up in weight in June.
Calvillo was scheduled to face Lauren Murphylast month, but was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Chookagian (14-4) is coming off a knockout loss to former strawweight champion Jessica Andradeon October 17 in Abu Dhabi. Despite the loss, Chookagian is still the No. 2-ranked flyweight in the world per the UFC rankings, behind No. 1-ranked Andrade.
The 31-year-old Chookagian fought Shevchenko for the title in February, and came up short via third-round TKO. The fight against Calvillo will mark her fourth appearance in 2020.