Two major UFC events still remain in July starting with UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Shevchenko on Saturday, July 23 and UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley one week later on Saturday, July 30.
Holly (“The Preachers Daughter“) Holm, is the No. 2 UFC bantamweight contender. She is a professional boxer and kickboxer and is the first person to win championships in both boxing and martial arts. She is highly regarded as one of the best female fighters in the world. The 5’8″ southpaw quickly rose to fame after capturing the division’s title from Ronda Rousey in 2015, however Holm lost the belt to Miesha Tate in her first ever career loss.
Russian born Valentina Shevchenko, nicknamed, “The Bullet”, began training at the age of five. Shevchenko is a decorated Muay Thai Fighter and kickboxer. A fierce competitor she has won many titles such as the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships and World Muaythai Council and is known for her precision, calculated striking and clinch work. Shevchenko most recently fought Amanda Nunes on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196 but lost the fight by unanimous decision. No stranger to competition Shevchenko has a 56-2 professional record Muay Thai/K-1 and has defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Caley Reece. Look for this fight to be a chance to see some spectacular stand-up by both of the ladies.
San Diego native, Robbie Lawler is a professional mixed martial artist and the current UFC Welterweight Champion. He has been competing since 2001. He is best known for his 2015 title defense against Rory MacDonald, a match some refer to as one of the greatest world title fights of all time. He is a fan favorite and is know to leave it all in the Octagon. This fight marks his third title defense.
Tyron Woodley, nicknamed “The Chosen One”, fought in his first professional Strikeforce fight in 2009 and is currently #3 in official UFC welterweight rankings. Woodley has a strong wrestling background and is a NCAA Division I All-American as well as team captain of the University of Missouri wrestling team He also won the Big 10 title in 2003. Woodley hasn’t fought since UFC 183 in January 2015 so ring rust could be an issue. The two fighters both fight out of the American Top Team banner and are friends but will put their friendship aside to see who is the best welterweight is. Look for Lawler to use his experience and grit to grind out the win.
The four fighters had this to say on the UFC media conference call when they were asked about their upcoming fights.
Holly Holm: ” Valentina is definitely a seasoned athlete.” I do know it is just one fight at a time. I’m definitely thirsty right now, I want victory”
Valentina Shevchenko: “My focus is the fight.” and “This is my life, this is what I want to be. My destiny was to be a martial artist.”
Robbie Lawler: “I’m sick of the Fight of the Night. “I am a mean fighter. I just want to take people out and I just want to win!”
Tyron Woodley: “The difference between me then, and me now is that I’m putting everything together and I’m ready to take off! I’m just a mean fighter who is looking to finish people and do what I do.”
Watch Lawler vs. Woodley on July 30th LIVE on Pay Per View HERE