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UFC 261 is the ultimate spectacle of women’s MMA. Four of the elite crop of fem…



UFC 261 is the ultimate show in women’s MMA. Four of the elite crop of female mixed martial artists competing on the same night. Two fights for the title of the highest level. Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas get married so well. Smooth technical strike as well as knockout power from both sides, and the fight comes at the perfect time. Weili coming out of the fight of the year and his greatest performance of all time, Rose having avenged the most devastating loss of his career. Two of the best currently competing at 115. Top level action on the feet, and quite possibly the best title fight of the three. Big things are at stake for the winner. Before that, Valentina Shevchenko is set to defend her 125 title for the fifth time, and with Jessica Andrade she has her toughest challenger yet. Again, this is a compelling stylistic match. Valentina’s counter strike relies on an aggressive opponent who is ready to brawl and move forward, and Andrade has shown these characteristics on several occasions. Against Rose back in UFC 254, she was also starting to incorporate a lot more head moves than we’ve ever seen from her before, and if she chooses to use the same strategy in this one, it could be. the key to success or the beginning of its downfall. If she can use it to slip in and reduce the distance with Valentina, she has the power to end the fight even after advancing through a weight class. Making this fight ugly gives him the best chance of getting out of it, and Shevchenko can’t afford to be wrong in these exchanges. However, if Valentina can feign or show different looks to draw this sideways movement of the head, she might push it straight on a whim. She undoubtedly has the ability to set these traps, and if Andrade does not recognize that she is playing directly in the hands of Shevchenko. One mistake or the other and it could be over. The quality of these fights is at the next level and a testament to the talent now on display at the top of these divisions. It doesn’t get much better.

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