A women’s bantamweight clash between Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko will headline UFC on FOX 20 on July 23 in Chicago.
Though UFC Tonight first reported the possibility of the fight on Wednesday, the bout became official on Sunday, as it was announced during the FOX Sports 1 telecast of UFC Fight Night 87: Overeem vs. Arlovski from Rotterdam.
Holm (10-1) had tried holding out for a rematch with current bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, but when that fight instead went to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200, she inked the deal to fight Shevchenko. UFC on FOX 20 marks Holm’s first fight since losing to Tate in March. Although she’s not getting the rematch she wanted, Holm will be headlining on network television in the United States, which is a lofty platform.
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Although she’s not quite the name that Holm is in MMA circles, Shevchenko (12-2) makes for an interesting match-up for the former UFC bantamweight champion. Holm was a dominant champion in boxing, with more than 30 professional bouts to her credit before she rose to prominence in the cage. Shevchenko has more than 60 kickboxing bouts to her credit, having lost only two.
The biggest differences between the two women are Holm having found greater success at the highest levels of MMA, which might be balanced by Shevchneko having begun her mixed martial arts career in 2003, much sooner than Holm, who began competing in MMA in 2011.
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