Women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano (4-2, 2 KOs) will defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko (15-3, 4 KOs, 7 SUBs) at UFC 228 on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main card airs live at 10pm ET following the FS1 prelims.
Ever since the women’s flyweight division was formed, people expected Valentina Shevchenko to one day become its champion. The only problem for “Bullet” was that the title was awarded to the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 26, Nicco Montano. She may be the inaugural champ, but against a world-class fighter like Valentina it really doesn’t mean much.
Just to jog your memory, Shevchenko is considered the No. 1 contender at bantamweight, and nearly dethroned Amanda Nunes in a razor-thin split decision loss. This is a woman whose beaten notable fighters like Holly Holm and Julianna Pena at a bigger weight class, so it’s only natural to think that she’d crush it in a new division that hasn’t had time to produce any elite fighters.
As for Montano, she’s got to feel crazy disrespected as most people feel like she’s only been keeping the strap warm from Shevchenko. It’s honestly a fair assumption to make, but perhaps Montano can make the leap under the bright lights of this pay-per-view co-main event.
The UFC odds at BookMaker.eu have Shevchenko as a colossal favorite, which was to be expected. That obviously gives you a very tempting line on Montano, but you’ll want to check our betting guide below before taking any action.
UFC 228 Betting at BookMaker.eu
Valentina Shevchenko -1308
Nicco Montano +703
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +145 / -175
Significant strikes landed per minute: Montano 7.44 / Shevchenko 3.31
Accuracy: Montano 40.79% / Shevchenko 52.74%
Significant strikes absorbed per minute: Montano 5.28 / Shevchenko 2.38
Defense: Montano 67.25% / Shevchenko 57.96%
Takedown average: Montano 1.8 / Shevchenko 1.82
Takedown accuracy: Montano 50% / Shevchenko 54.55%
Takedowns defended: Montano 77.78% / Shevchenko 73.91%
Submission average: Montano 0.6 / Shevchenko 0.46
Bet on Nicco Montano vs. Valentina Shevchenko Odds
Never in UFC history has a champion been such a big underdog. That’s what you get when an elite fighter challenges a titleholder who won the belt through a TV show. Montano has some potential, but the reality here is that the 29-year old is just six fights into her pro career and facing a veteran of 18 pro MMA fights and dozens of pro Muay Thai scraps.
Shevchenko most recently debuted in her natural weight class, meeting the previously unbeaten Priscila Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125. It was one of the most lopsided fights of the year - Shevchenko dominated the Brazilian, battering and bloodying her up before mercifully ending it with a RNC in the second. That performance pretty much reiterated that Shevchenko is likely the best 125-pounder in the world right now.
So does Montano have any chance here? Barely. She beat Roxanne Modafferi with tight boxing combinations, and showed solid natural strength against bullying tactics. Montano is particularly solid in the clinch and keeps up a high pace - two areas which should really help her in the future. Plus, she quickly improved throughout TUF, suggesting that there are still levels she can add to her game.
UFC Odds Pick: Fight doesn’t go to decision at -175
Stay away from the money lines - Shevchenko is too expensive and Montano is far too risky. In terms of value, we see this prop as your best bet. Shevchenko has been chomping at the bit to get her hands on the belt, and she’s been sneaky good at finding finishes in her past two victories. Montano is tough, but she’s coming off injuries and stepping onto a battlefield she’s not qualified for yet.
UFC 228 Odds at BookMaker.eu
Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker Sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today. UFC 228 takes place on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main card airs live at 10pm ET following the FS1 prelims.