UFC 255 Co-Main Event Odds, Pick & Prediction: Best Bets for Shevchenko vs. Maia
Alexandre Schneider /Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Valentina Shevchenko.
- Valentina Shevchenko makes the fourth defense of her women's Flyweight belt in the UFC 255 co-main event vs. Jennifer Maia.
- Shevchenko has a chance to close as the largest favorite ever in a UFC fight. Is there still value in betting on her?
- Sean Zerillo previews the matchup, including his favorite bet for Saturday's bout.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia Odds
The No. 3 pound-for-pound woman in the UFC and current women’s Flyweight champion makes her fourth title defense against Jennifer Maia in the UFC 255 co-main event.
Shevchenko is riding a five-fight winning streak, which includes her stoppage win against Katlyn Chookagian (also on this card) in February. Maia last fought in August and scored a first-round submission win. Shevchenko is a historically huge favorite in this matchup, but can Maia pull the huge upset?
Below I break preview the matchup and odds for what should be an exciting co-main event. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||N/A||4:19|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|Date of birth||3/7/88||10/6/88|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.06||4.08|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.12||3.92|
|Take Down Avg||2.09||0.23|
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia Betting Pick
Shevchenko could close as the most significant favorite in UFC history against Maia, as she needs to fight someone in order to defend her Flyweight belt, but there is nobody in the Flyweight division who can offer her much of a challenge.
In her past three fights, Shevchenko closed at -1250 against Chookagian, -1400 against Liz Carmouche and -1696 against Jessica Eye.
She has run through other top strikers at 125, including Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Holly Holm and Chookagian, and submitted a high-end grappler in Julianna Pena.
Her only losses in the past 10 years have both come against Amanda Nunes at Bantamweight, and Shevchenko was favored in both of those bouts, each a decision loss.
Unless Shevchenko injures herself, I don’t see Maia finding a path to victory. It’s more about how much respect Shevchenko gives her, and whether she decides to pursue a performance bonus quickly.
Four of her eight UFC fights that didn’t involve Nunez have gone the distance, and Maia hasn’t been finished since early in her career (2012), but Shevchenko represents a different level of striking than anything she has encountered, and I do think that Valentina closes the show.
I projected Shevchenko to win inside the distance at odds of -316 (implied 76%), and I would bet that prop to -245 (implied 71%).
Furthermore, I used Valentina to complete my moneyline parlay to bump the odds to even money – though that bet is for degenerates only.
The Pick: Valentina Shevchenko wins Inside the Distance (-197)