Valentina Schevchenko will fight Jessica Eye in the co-main event at UFC 238 to make the first defense of her UFC Women's flyweight championship. Jessica Eye is currently a massive +900 underdog, so odds makers don't think Eye has the tools to win this fight. +900 underdog for "Evil Eye" just seems crazy to me.
Valentina is one of the most elite strikers in the UFC. She has fought the best including going the distance with the Queen of the Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions Amanda Nunes in a closely contested fight. Schevchenko has flaws in her game that could be exploited by Eye. Schevchenko tends to get complacent in fights when she feels like she is winning and she will switch in to crusie control to coast to a decision win. This flaw has caused her to lose fights on the judges scorecards when she probably could have won, and I think this is an advantage for Eye that she could help her pull off a shocking uposet win. Eye is big and strong at this weight and tough as nails. I think she could use her size and toughness to bully "The Bullet". On UFC Embedded Amanda Nunes tells Eye to cvome forward against Schevchenko with pressure because she doesn't like it. This is the key to victory for Eye. She needs to get in Valentina's face with forward pressure and disrupt her point fighting style with takedowns to defeat her. Eye has a powerful right hand that could do some damage, but I believe she should try to avoid striking exchanges as much as possible because Valentina has superior striking.
Most are underestimating Eye and ignoring that there are clear paths to victory that are not outside of Eye's reach. The question is can Eye take advantage of the oppportunities that she has to win this fight? "Evil Eye" is going into this figth with nothing to lose and she has what it takes to be a champion. She now has finally hit her stride by fighting in the right weight division for her size. Eye has also been vocal about how beneficial relocating to Las Vegas to train has been for her. You can tell from her interviews that she is very confident and unintimidated going into this fight. Everything seems to be coming together for Eye which is evident in her results in the octagon, stringing together three consecutive wins over her most recent opponents. I believe that Eye has greatly improved as a fighter and is more dangerous than she has ever been. Now is the right time for her to upset Schevchenko to win her first UFC title.
Eye's keys to victory will be exploiting Schevchenko's weaknesses. She needs to utilize her wrestling and powerful right hand that she throws with a consistent high guard. Valentina Schevchenko is overrated and it is up to Eye to exploit the holes in her game. Eye does not want to allow Schevchenko to strike at distance which is her comfort zone. Eye needs to close the distance, take Schevchenko down and dominate her with her strong wrestling. Schevchenko tends to over extend and lift her leg when she throws her right hand which makes her susceptible to takedowns. Eye can take advantage of this and dominate her on the ground. Eye needs to beat up Schevchenko with ground and pound for the TKO or submission, or get the decision win. I see Eye exposing Schevchenko's flaws by not allowing her to pick her apart with strikes, bringing the fight to her with forward aggression, tenacity, and securing takedowns. Eye needs to make the fight ugly and use her strength to control Schevchenko on the ground.
I predicted that Anthony Smith would defeat the more techically skilled striker Gustaffson with his grit, and relentless pressure. I see Schevchenko vs Eye playing out the same way with Eye eventually breaking Schevchenko by moving forward and out grappling her to get the upset win.