20 February 2020

Joanne Calderwood lined up to challenge Valentina Shevchenko for flyweight title at UFC 251

Valentina Shevchenko will defend her flyweight title sooner than fans expected as sources reveal she will fight Scotland's Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251 on June 6.

ESPNs Brett Okamoto revealed the news on Twitter, with the assurance that both teams had agreed to the bout.

The Peruvian champion (19-3) won the title on a unanimous decision over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 in 2018 and has since knocked out Jessica Eye, defeated Liz Carmouche and come out victorious against Katlyn Chookagian on a technical KO at this month's UFC 247.

Her only losses in UFC have been by decision at the hands and feet of current two-division champ Amanda Nunes.

Calderwood, who was victorious at the first ever women's UFC bout in 2016, boasts an impressive 14-4 record, is currently ranked No 3 in the flyweight category, and appears to be the challenger with the greatest chance of defeating the ever-dominant Shevchenko.

The 33-year-old Scot, lost to the defending champion two fights ago but has since earned a split decision win over Andrea Lee and is back on form.

Since returning to the flyweight class permanently in 2018, she has also earned victories over Kalindra Faria and Ariane Lipski.

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