This weekend at UFC 255, Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko will defend her belt against Jennifer Maia.

Jennifer is 3-1 in her last four fights only losing to the last woman to challenge Valentina for her title, Katlyn Chookagian. This fight will certainly be an exciting one, but it seems as though it will be much of the same from our current Flyweight Champion who currently sits as a -2200 favorite.

While Valentina is easily one of the greatest fighters, man or woman, to ever step foot inside the octagon, she creates a major problem for the UFC. The problem simply is, she is unbeatable.

Let’s break down why this is such a large problem for the UFC.

Photo: UFC

Dominant champions are nothing new to the UFC. Throughout the long history of the largest MMA promotion in the world, there have been plenty of seemingly unbeatable champions such as Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, and George St. Pierre of the past.

As well as more recent examples of seemingly unbeatable champions such as Jon Jones, current Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman, current Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and widely regarded greatest female fighter of all time and current double champion Amanda Nunez. Valentina absolutely falls in that category of unbeatable fighters. This also isn’t necessarily a “business” problem either.

No matter how dominant a champion is, the fans will still buy the pay-per-views for two reasons.

The first reason being that if nothing else, they get to see what the highest level of mixed martial arts truly is. The second reason is that maybe, just maybe, this is the fight and the fighter that dethrones the champion. So while for business reasons Valentina is good for the UFC, she is creating a problem in terms of the entire UFC Women’s Flyweight division.

The problem we are about to discuss is the same one that is currently going on in both the Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions and had occurred in the Light Heavyweight, Middleweight, and Men’s Flyweight divisions when Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, and Demetrious Johnson were champions, respectively. The problem is that they are running out of legitimate challengers. The word “legitimate” is the point of emphasis here because there will never be a shortage of actual fighters. However, the UFC promotion as a whole takes a shot to its creditability every time a fight is put on where the fan knows who will win going in.

For reference, some of the examples of unbeatable champions previously listed who don’t meet this criterion have legitimate reasons why they aren’t listed.

Usman is still too early into his reigns to have a lack of legitimate challengers. Adesanya and Khabib are in such stacked divisions as well that there will always be legitimate challengers. Valentina has surpassed all previous challengers and it was never close.

What the UFC truly must do, is find a way to make more legitimate contenders for Valentina to face. Create new stars, push established names, and manufacture new fighters who could pose an actual threat to Valentina. We the fans know how good she is, so we need to build up other fighters to be seen as legitimate threats to Valentina.

This is no disrespect to Jennifer Maia, but what does it say about the Women’s Flyweight division if the current title challenger earned her shot on a one-win streak?

We would ideally like to see Maia prove herself with one or two more wins, but there’s no other top fighter for Valentina left to face. This is a major problem for the UFC and they need to solve it.

What do you think about Valentina Shevchenko?

Featured Image: UFC
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