We were supposed to get the championship bout between Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka at UFC 274 in Phoenix the first week of May. That didn’t happen for undisclosed reasons, but it’s happening Saturday, June 11, in Kalland, Singapore.
For the special occasion of UFC’s first pay-per-view event in Southeast Asia, we don’t just get the one title fight between Teixeira and Prochazka (who are fighting for the light-heavyweight belt), there is also the women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, defending her title against top contender Taila Santos.
UFC 275 Title Bouts Odds by BetUs
Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka Light Heavyweight Title Odds
Never count out the old man, Glover Teixeira continues to remind us of that. The 42-year-old is the reigning light heavyweight champion after his choke-out win over Jan Blachowicz a year ago. He’s the underdog in this match for a reason, however, and that reason is the former champion of the Rizin Fighting Federation, Jiri Prochazka.
The 29-year-old Czech is one of the feared knockout fighters in MMA, doing so in 25 of his 28 victories. Compare that 90% knockout rate to Teixeira’s 53% rate.
The Czech also has the height and reach advantage, a 13-year ‘youth advantage’ and the belief by many of the experts, as per UFC odds, that he’s primed to knock off the veteran Teixeira and take home the title.
UFC 275 Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos Women’s Flyweight Title
While Teixeira has been champ for less than a year, Valentina Shevchenko’s been the women’s flyweight champion for four years now, and has successfully defended her title an incredible six times. She is, hands down, one of the dominant champions in the history of the sport.
Per UFC odds, Shevchenko is the heavy favorite to defend her title a seventh time here, opposing the Brazilian challenger, Taila Santos and her very impressive record of 19-1 record. Ten of those wins came by knockout. Her resume also includes wins over a pair of excellent fighters in Joanne Wood and Roxanne Modafferi.
Santos is good, and she has earned the right to face the champion. Considering just how good Shevchenko is, that’s not such a privilege. This fight is likely to go one way and one way only, as in a continued run of dominance by the best female fighter in the world.
UFC 275 Other Top Fights
Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk Women’s Strawweight
There’s no title on the line when Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk meet, but the bragging rights at stake are immense between these two fighters.
When they first met, Zhang was the champion, and the two put together one of the best fights the sport had seen. Zhang was a winner by split decision, and everyone was immediately looking forward to the rematch. Everyone, that is, except the UFC, which scheduled Zhang to fight Rose Namajunas, who knocked her out.
Zhang no longer has a belt as a result. Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought since the first time they met. However, none of that will matter when these two women take the octagon. These two desperately need to win, which will likely lead to another crack at the title.
Rogerio Bontorin vs. Manel Kape Flyweight
Manel Kape, known as “Starboy,” comes in off a pair of knockout wins, against Ode Osbourne and Zhalgas Zumagulaov. That leaves him ranked No. 14 in the UFC betting flyweight rankings, ready to oppose the eighth-ranked contender, Rogerio Bontorin.
Bontorin lost his last three. Looking at the posted odds, many of the experts in the sport believe his ranking remains much too high. considering poor form in latest bouts, including losing to Brandon Royval in January.
Andre Fialho vs. Jake Matthews Welterweight
Andre Fialho is the favorite in this fight with Jake Matthews specifically because of his recent form, including two straight knockout wins (named Performance of the Night in both) and six wins in his last seven. The one loss came to Michael Pereira at UFC 270.
The former UAE Warriors champ draws the Australian Jake Matthews, a loser his last time out. That was more than a year ago at UFC 259. Before losing that encounter, Matthews had won three straight unanimous decisions.