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How many title bouts are on the UFC 261 fight card?

Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade
Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade
Modified 25 Feb 2021

UFC 261 has confirmed one title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade for the women's flyweight championship. The event will occur on April 24 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

A second bout for the gold at UFC 261 is currently under negotiation. The title fight would have reigning women's strawweight champion Zhang Weili up against former titleholder Rose Namajunas.

Andrade, who captured the strawweight belt from Namajunas in 2019, got her title shot at flyweight after her successful debut in the division against Katlyn Chookagian last October.

UFC 261 was initially scheduled to take place in Singapore. However, due to failed negotiations with the Singaporean government regarding COVID-19 protocols, the UFC decided to bring the event back to their home base at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In addition to the women's flyweight and the potential strawweight title fights, the promotion has already officially announced three other bouts for the UFC 261 fight card, which is still under development.

A middleweight rematch between former champion Chris Weidman and veteran Uriah Hall is confirmed for the main card. The two first met over 10 years ago in a Ring of Combat event, in which Weidman was declared the winner via technical knockout.

No. 6 in the light heavyweight rankings, Anthony Smith, will take on No. 12-ranked Jimmy Crute in another main card fight. A bantamweight clash between Mongolian contender Danaa Batgerel and American newcomer Kevin Natividad closes the bouts that already got inked for UFC 261.

UFC 261: Can Jessica Andrade finally dethrone Valentina Shevchenko?

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The current flyweight champion is one of the most dominant active titleholders in the UFC. Valentina Shevchenko has a sequence of six consecutive victories - five of which were defending the women's flyweight belt.

The Kyrgyzstani fighter has only been defeated twice in her UFC career, both times to Amanda Nunes, who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time on women's MMA.

However, Jessica Andrade is used to dethroning UFC champions. She has done it with Rose Namajunas for the women's strawweight championship and will try to repeat the feat against Shevchenko at UFC 261.

If the strawweight championship clash between Weili Zhang and Namajunas is confirmed, UFC 261 will be the first event in the promotion's history to hold two women's title fights on the same night.

Published 25 Feb 2021, 02:54 IST
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