UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Pena will air on January 28, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.
#1 VALENTINA “THE BULLET” SHEVCHENKO (13-2-0) vs #2 JULIANNA PENA (8-2-0)
This is a five round main event in the women’s bantamweight division. Shevchenko brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, judo, and taekwondo giving her efficient striking power and well-rounded cardio. Pena brings kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving her striking power along with well-rounded grappling and cardio. Both of these fighters are coming off impressive victories and now look to be one step away from earning the title shot they have been longing for. With all these two amazing female athletes bring the fight looks to be an all-out war with the possibility of becoming a ‘Fight of the Night’ candidate. Though I believe if the fight boils down to a standing game Shevchenko looks to be walking away the victor as she has proven in just a short amount of time how deadly of a striker she is as she not only has the ability to put a beating on her opponents but at the same time pressure them to the point they cannot find any ground to set up any attacks, which might prove to be far more than Pena can handle. However, Pena has great ground game so if she were able to bring the fight down to the ground she would place Shevchenko in a world of trouble as she is not well equipped to defend herself on the ground, so she would have to improve her takedown defense dramatically in order to keep herself out of a harm’s way of Pena’s ground control. My prediction: Shevchenko wins via split decision.
#5 DONALD “COWBOY” CERRONE (32-7-0, 1 NC) vs #12 JORGE “GAMEBRED” MASVIDAL (31-11-0)
This is a three round fight in the welterweight division. Cerrone brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and wrestling making him a deadly striker as well as a hardcore grappler. Masvidal brings boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him striking power and cardio. With both fighters containing almost identical techniques, the fight looks hard to call, but I believe Cerrone’s striking power mixed with his grappling will be far too much for Masvidal to handle as he really does not have the ability and chin to stand up to the power Cerrone will bring to this fight. Unless Masvidal could somehow take top ground control and try to out cardio Cerrone by ground-and-pound I really see this fight being more one-sided rather than an actual fight. My prediction: Cerrone wins via unanimous decision.
#7 ANDREI “THE PIT BULL” ARLOVSKI (25-13-0, 1 NC) vs #10 FRANCIS “PREDATOR” NGANNOU (9-1-0)
This is a three round fight in the heavyweight division. Arlovski brings boxing, kickboxing, sambo and jiu-jitsu giving him extreme striking power. Ngannou brings boxing and some grappling giving him a near perfect record. Now, this fight contains two fighters who indeed have striking power, but Arlovski seems to be much deadlier of a striker than Ngannou as he really lays pressure on his opponents to help him set up his knockout blow and prove to everyone once again why he is still a dangerous fighter in the heavyweight division. Though Ngannou is no opponent to joke with as he has risen to great lengths in just a short amount of time by showing great standing and ground game, which might prove to be more difficult for Arlovski at this point in his career as he looks to be a downfall from taking all the punishment throughout his career. My prediction: Ngannou wins via knockout in Round 2.
ALEX “BRUCE LEEROY” CACERES (12-9-0, 1 NC) vs JASON “THE KID” KNIGHT (18-2-0)
This is a three round fight in the featherweight division. Caceres brings striking and jiu-jitsu that have given him the striking and grappling game. Knight brings striking and jiu-jitsu that have given him power and grappling control. With both fighters containing almost a similar a style, the key factor will be based on who uses them more efficiently. I believe Knight just might have the upper hand as he seems to show a much more well-rounded game plan than Caceres as Knight looks to actually attack his opponents more to put them away were Caceres does not seem to be that aggressive. Unless Caceres could manage to out strike Knight by remaining on their feet I really don’t see this fight a close matchup. My prediction: Knight wins via submission in Round 2.