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Valentina Shevchenko’s head has looked anything but uneasy in the nearly two years she has worn the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s flyweight crown.
The pound-for-pound mainstay will put her 125-pound crown on the line for the fourth time when she meets Jennifer Maia in the UFC 255 co-feature on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Shevchenko enters the cage on a run of five consecutive victories, having never been defeated as a flyweight. She last fought at UFC 247 on Feb. 8, when she put away Katlyn Chookagian with a volley of elbows and punches. Maia, meanwhile, has won nine of her past 11 bouts. She last competed at UFC Fight Night 173, where she submitted Joanne Calderwood with a first-round armbar on Aug. 1.
As Shevchenko and Maia make final preparations for their high-stakes showdown, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
32: Years of age for Shevchenko, who was born on March 7, 1988 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
7: Shevchenko victories by submission, providing more than one-third of her career win total (19). Her methods of choice: four rear-naked chokes, two armbars and one Ezekiel choke. Shevchenko owns six other wins by knockout or technical knockout.
9: Countries in which Shevchenko has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. She has gone 6-2 in the United States, 3-0 in South Korea, 2-0 in Peru, 2-0 in Kazakhstan, 2-0 in Kyrgyzstan, 1-1 in Canada, 1-0 in Uruguay, 1-0 in Brazil and 1-0 in Russia.
93: Significant strikes by which Shevchenko outpaced Priscila Cachoeira in one of the biggest statistical blowouts in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. Shevchenko outlanded the then-undefeated Parana Vale Tudo export by a 95-2 count before submitting her with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 125 mismatch.
50: Seconds needed for Shevchenko to put away Priscila Orellana with punches at Fusion Fighting Championship 5 in December 2013. It remains the only sub-minute finish on her ledger.
32: Years of age for Maia, who was born on Oct. 6, 1988 in Curitiba, Brazil.
5: Submission wins to Maia’s credit, accounting for 56% of her career finishes (nine). She has been a two-trick pony thus far, with three victories by armbar and two by rear-naked choke. Maia has four other wins by knockout or technical knockout.
3: Flyweight titleholders, including Maia, in Invicta Fighting Championships history. Barb Honchak and Vanessa Porto are the only other women who have held the 125-pound crown in the Kansas City, Missouri-based organization. Maia ruled over the division for 652 days, from Sept. 22, 2016 to July 7, 2018.
82: Combined victories between the six women—Porto, Chookagian, Sheila Gaff, Leslie Smith, DeAnna Bennett and Liz Carmouche—who have beaten Maia.
2: Failed weight cuts in five UFC appearances for Maia. She checked in at 129 pounds for her UFC on ESPN 4 battle with Roxanna Modafferi on July 20, 2019 and tipped the scales at 127.2 pounds for her UFC 244 pairing with Chookagian on Nov. 2, 2019.