UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has looked unbeatable during her four-fight title reign, but the division is still full of challengers working toward their shot at the belt.
That list includes former title challenger Jessica Eye (15-7) and Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1), who will meet in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night inside the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas. Eye already came up short against Shevchenko in June 2019, but is still ranked just below her in the UFC’s rankings. Calvillo is a former strawweight, making her 125-pound debut.
Shevchenko is expected to face Joanne Calderwood in her next title defense, but the dominant champ has repeatedly said she’d like to remain active — and if she continues going through opponents with the ease she has thus far, she’s always going to be in need of a “next in line.”
Eye and Calvillo will each look to build their case for a future shot on Saturday, although Eye’s chances might have already taken a hit as she missed weight for a second consecutive time during Friday’s official weigh-ins.
The co-main event may turn out to capture the fight-of-the-night bonus as Marvin Vettori battles Karl Roberson in a middleweight bout fueled by bad blood. The two were supposed to fight twice before, but the first time was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic and the second by a bad weight cut by Roberson, who had to be hospitalized. Vettori confronted Roberson in the host hotel in Jacksonville after the second cancelation and the fight almost took place in the lobby. Roberson missed weight once again, but it won’t prevent this fight from happening.
Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi recap the action as it plays out in Las Vegas.
Fight in progress:
With his UFC job potentially on the line, Nam blasted Adashev with a one-punch knockout at just 32 seconds of the first round.
Adashev went for a leg kick in the openings seconds and Nam countered with a huge right hand. Adashev was out on impact. Nam was emotional afterward. It was his first UFC victory.
“His only chance was to come in hard from the start,” said Nam, who added he could fight again next week. “I’m gonna fight fire with fire. Even though these guys can hit hard, I feel like I can always hit harder.”
— UFC (@ufc) June 13, 2020
Nam, 36, was on a two-fight losing streak. This was the Hawaii native’s first win since July 2019, which came under the X-1 World Events banner. Nam has been a pro MMA fighter for 14 years with stops in Bellator, World Series of Fighting and Russia’s Fight Nights Global promotion.
Adashev, 27, was on a three-fight winning streak coming in, all in Bellator. The Uzbekistan native, who lives and trains in New York, missed weight by 1.5 pounds for this bantamweight bout Friday. Adashev was an accomplished pro kickboxer prior to transitioning to MMA, having competed for such promotions as Glory.
Aguilera added another quick knockout to his resume, as he finished Ivy in just 59 seconds with a flurry of right hands. Aguilera, 28, has now recorded six sub-minute knockouts in his career.
Aguilera’s power was evident from the first blow, as it instantly forced Ivy to retreat to the fence and cover up. Ivy was never knocked down by any of the right hands, or knocked out, but his defensive posture prompted referee Dan Miragliotta to wave it off quickly.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 13, 2020
It was Ivy’s first loss via knockout.