One of the most dominant champions in the UFC will make her return at UFC 261 when women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko puts her championship on the line against former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade, UFC president Dana White told ESPN. UFC 261 will take place on April 24 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Shevchenko is riding a six-fight winning streak, which includes five consecutive victories in championship fights. In her most recent outing, Shevchenko overcame a stiff challenge from Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 in November. In her UFC career, Shevchenko has only suffered two defeats, both to Amanda Nunes, the consensus greatest fighter in the history of women's MMA. The second defeat came in a bid for the women's bantamweight title, with Shevchenko losing a narrow split decision.
Andrade won the strawweight title in May 2019 with a slam knockout of Rose Namajunas. She lost the title in her first defense, suffering a knockout loss to Weili Zhang in under a minute. After a loss to Namajunas in their rematch, Andrade made a move to the flyweight division.
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In her first fight at the new weight, Andrade turned in a Performance of the Night winning effort by knocking out Katlyn Chookagian in less than one round. That victory secured her a shot at Shevchenko in what may be the most high-profile fight available at 125 pounds.
The UFC 261 card is still in development, but is also expected to feature the rescheduled middleweight fight between former champion Chris Weidman and UFC mainstay Uriah Hall.