UFC 275 Co-Main Event Picks: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos

  • Date & Location: Saturday, June 11 @Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore
  • Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+), Prelims (ESPN, ESPN+). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)

The headlining bout at UFC 275 is a light heavyweight title fight between two different generations of 205-pound competitors. In one corner, is the 42-year-old champion, Glover Teixeira, who made his MMA debut in 2002. In the other corner is Jiri Prochazka, who is the No. 2 ranked fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings. The 29-year-old, a former Rizin light heavyweight titleholder, made his MMA debut in 2012.

In the evening’s co-main event, UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (22-3) faces the No. 4 ranked Taila Santos (19-1). Shevchenko won the vacant 125-pound UFC title in December 2018. Since then, she has defended her crown six times. She has four knockout wins in those title defenses and two unanimous decision victories. Her two most recent title defenses ended via knockout. Santos is riding a four-fight winning streak headed into UFC 275. She earned her shot at  UFC gold with a submission win over Joanne Wood in November. The stoppage earned Santos her first UFC post-fight bonus award.

Before we look at the main event of the UFC 275 PPV card, which streams on ESPN+, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 275 Co-Main Event picks

FightersBovadaBetOnlineXBetGTBetsMyBookie
Valentina Shevchenko-800-800-800-800-800
Taila Santos+525+550+500+550+500

Shevchenko vs. Santos breakdown and analysis

This is an enormous step up in competition for Taila Santos and I’m not sure she is ready to fight for a UFC title at this point in her career, at least not against someone as well-rounded and accomplished as Valentina Shevchenko.

Santos is an incredibly physically strong fighter and she has the ability to impose her will on the mat, which is what she has done to earn her shot at Shevchenko. The problem Santos faces here is if she will get the opportunity to take the fight to the ground, as Shevchenko has been taken down just once during her title reign.

Shevchenko has shown zero holes in her game as champion. She has incredibly high fight IQ, her striking style is top-notch and built to keep her opponents at distance. Her ground game is strong enough that it’s a risk for any opponent to tangle with her on the mat.

I think Shevchenko’s game plan for this fight is to keep things standing and to work at distance for as long as she can. I predict she will use a kick-heavy approach to this fight and that will extend the bout to the full five rounds, where she will win via decision.

Pick: Valentina Shevchenko to beat Taila Santos.

Valentina ShevchenkoTO BEAT TAIALA SANTOS
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Betting value with Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko hasn’t been less than -1250 on fight night since she closed at -333 against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December 2018. That was the fight where she won the vacant title.

Shevchenko has never been an especially good value pick when considering odds. However, she has been pretty much a sure thing to win at 125 pounds. I don’t think that fact changes here. Her two recent finishes in title fights show that the champ is still hungry and that she has not lost a step. This pick comes down to if you think Santos can last the distance with Shevchenko or if Shevchenko becomes the first fighter to finish Santos.

I think their style and approach of Santos will keep this fight standing and that it will go the distance.

Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko to win via decision.

Valentina ShevchenkoTO BEAT TAIALA SANTOS
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-800
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What’s at stake

For Santos, a win would represent one of the biggest upsets in UFC title fight history. As for Shevchenko, a win here will once again bring up the calls for her to face the only woman to beat her in the UFC, former UFC bantamweight champion and current UFC featherweight queen Amanda Nunes.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He currently covers MMA for MMA Junkie and Forbes. He has also written for Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.