Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos Odds, UFC 275 Pick & Prediction: 2 Bets for Saturday’s Co-Main Event (June 11)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC figher Valentina Shevchenko.
- Valentina Shevchenko and Taila Santos will go head-to-head for the Women's Flyweight title in the co-main event of UFC 275.
- Shevchekno is a massive favorite (-600) to get her ninth win in a row, but Billy Ward sees value elsewhere.
- He breaks down the matchup, including his two betting picks.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (-165 / +120)|
|Venue||Singapore Indoor Stadium|
|Time||Approx. 11:30 p.m. ET|
Valentina Shevchenko looks to defend her flyweight title for the seventh time on Saturday night, a defense that would tie her for fifth all-time in UFC title defenses. In front of her is Taila Santos, who is 19-1 in her professional career, with her only loss coming via split decision in her UFC debut.
Shevchenko is a massive favorite to add another ruby to her belt, but we've seen our fair share of massive title upsets in the past, particularly from female champions. Is Santos a legitimate threat here, or was she simply the best available option in a cleaned out division?
Below, I break down the fight, and share my two suggested bets for the co-main event on Saturday.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||16:45||13:18|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|Date of birth||3/7/88||6/22/93|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.21||3.71|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||1.87||2.23|
|Take Down Avg.||2.62||2.44|
Shevchenko is one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, making light work of the 125-pound division since dropping down from 135 in 2018. Not that she didn't find success as a bantamweight. She holds a win over current champion Julianna Pena, and her only losses came to Amanda Nunes twice.
Shevchenko was a decorated striker prior to her MMA career, but has since developed into a well-rounded fighter. She's finished three of her last four wins via ground and pound, with a pair of submission victories in the UFC as well.
It's hard to poke many holes in her game, with the one potential exception being her relative lack of power. She's scored just one knockdown in her 13-fight UFC career — Santos has three in just five fights.
Santos also has a striking background, beginning muay thai training at the age of 16. A dozen years later, she's at the top of her game with four straight UFC victories.
She's also an all-around strong fighter. She has better rate stats in both takedowns and takedown defense — albeit against far lesser competition — than Shevchenko. She won her last fight by submission as well, though she clearly prefers to hunt knockouts.
Santos also appears to be the bigger fighter, with 1.5-inch reach and 1-inch height advantage. Visually at least, I'd expect her to be somewhat heavier when the cage doors close on Saturday night, giving her a strength advantage.
Shevchenko vs. Santos Pick
From Rousey (-1400 favorite) vs. Holm, Jedrzejczyk (-700) vs. Namajunas, and Nunes (-1125) vs. Pena, women's titles seem to change hands when we least expect it. While that doesn't really impact this fight, this feels like another shocking upset could be in play.
At 34 years old, Shevchenko's prime could be coming to a close. Santos is just 28, and has looked every bit the worthy challenger in her recent run. Shevchenko hasn't fought many of those lately, having cleared out the decision effectively. That raises some concerns about complacency, with Shevchenko perhaps looking past Santos to another crack at bantamweight gold.
With +450 odds, I'm willing to take a stab at the underdog in this one. Santos has the skills to at least make this a competitive fight, and the size and power to potentially win it. Hold off on placing that bet though, late money in combat sports generally comes in on the favorite, so we should be able to find even better lines Saturday evening.
If that's a bit too pricey, taking the over 3.5 (-150 at Caesars) is the way to go. That's basically a bet on Santos keeping it competitive, since there's no point spreads in MMA.
The Pick: Taila Santos +450 (or better) | Over 3.5