UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Antonina Shevchenko vs Katlyn Chookagian

The featured preliminary fight on Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 9 features two of the UFC’s top Women’s Flyweight fighters.

Katlyn Chookagian is coming off of a TKO loss to the champion Valentina Shevchenko.

She didn’t look terrible in the fight but Valentina is just that good.

It’s not often we win betting the under on a women’s MMA fight but we got it that night.

As if a TKO loss to one Shevchenko wasn’t enough, she gets to fight big sis Antonina Shevchenko next.

The good news for Katlyn is that this fight is not expected to end inside the distance.

The over/under round total is set at 2.5. The over is gonna cost you, though.

(-550)!

  • Chookagian is a brown belt in BJJ under Master Renzo Gracie.
  • If she got the fight to the mat, there is a chance she could submit her opponent Saturday.

Unfortunately for Katlyn, that is a big if.

She’s about 0-20 in takedown attempts in her UFC career.

At least with Katlyn, we know what we are gonna get.

Antonina is a bit more tricky, on her feet and on the mat, even in transitions.

She hit a rear naked off of a single leg defense in her last fight.

That was back in August.

We know she is an experienced kickboxer but still raw in MMA.

She has displayed the evolution of her game.

We might be at the ceiling, though.

She is 35. That is very old in fight years for a 125-pound female.

This is definitely an interesting matchup.

Let’s look at the betting line brought to us by BetOnline.AG and make our predictions for the fight between Antonina Shevchenko and Katlyn Chookagian.

Antonina Shevchenko (-140) vs Katlyn Chookagian (+120)

  • Katlyn is 4 years younger
  • She has fought a higher level of competition
  • 6-1 run w a split decision loss to Jessica Eye before losing to Valentina
  • She wins because she strikes with VOLUME
  • Prior to her title shot, she attempted more than 200 strikes in 5 consecutive fights
  • MMA judging doesn’t appear to take away points if you miss and Katlyn takes advantage of this

Chookagian Vs Shevchenko

  • Antonina has only one loss and that was to a strong takedown artist, Roxy Modafferi
  • Shevchenko throws a good amount herself, 150 in two separate fights that had 7 total takedowns
  • Both women land 4 strikes per minute but Antonina absorbs just over 2 while Katlyn is at 4.5
  • 53% landed on significant strikes for Antonina compared to 32% for Chookagian

Okay, Shev likes to counter and I do as well. In my experience, pitter patter strikers not only annoy me but have given me problems.

If it’s just one soft strike at a time then BOOM. Counter hard.

Katlyn doesn’t have that gear, though. She stays as busy as anybody but never unleashes fury.

If they have a funny timing you can’t pick up, though, the small shots can add up. That’s when your opponent goes full Nick Diaz, and you know you’re in trouble.

Chookagian has plenty of practice doing what she does best in the Octagon. Her fights generally take place at range where she can touch her opponent more than she gets touched.

There isn’t a lot of precision and power for Katlyn.

I give the edge to Shevchenko there.

We also have to take into account that the arena will be empty. With a big noisy crowd, it’s harder to decipher which strikes landed with more velocity and thump.

The numbers game Katlyn plays is the smart move there.

It’s going to be quiet, though, and even with Katlyn doing her best Monica Seles, the voice of Valentina will be just as loud every time a Shevchenko bones so much as brushes the body of Chookagian.

We will be back in Las Vegas, Nevada too and the judging there has evolved more than in any state.

I am starting to consistently see damage scored higher than volume striking with a smaller emphasis on positively scoring ground control.

Antonina is the better striker and I think this fight will be contested on the feet.

Do I see Katlyn winning?

Sure.

Maybe 4 out of 10 times.

That’s the best I can do. Her betting odds of (+120) denote a 45% chance of winning.

I would need for this one to at the very least be a coin flip and I just see Antonina landing the cleaner, harder shots.

Chookagian’s resume is impressive, though.

Is Valentina worth it at (-140)?

Those odds have an implied probability of 58%.

I have her at 60-65. I went back and forth there.

We’ve got some value but not a ton.

I don’t think anyone in that room is going to want to make Valentina mad.

She could sway those judges a bit.

50% fewer strikes absorbed per minute and just as many landed…Throw in a 53% vs 32% landing percentage…

I went into this eying Chookagian but the defensive prowess for Antonina Shevchenko made the difference for me.

Over at 5dimes.eu, we can get Shevchenko to win a decision for (+110).

The fight goes to a decision betting odds gives an IP of 82%. I think that’s about right. I would even put it higher.

My Picks
Shevchenko Wins by Decision
-140

In Conclusion

We could possibly see 400 total strikes thrown in this fight!

That’s about the 15 minute average for these two women combined.

Is the fight going 15 minutes?

Is the Shevchenko by decision bet worth it?

Yes.

We were only getting about a 4-5% edge on the sportsbooks at (-140).

Now, it’s more than 10%.

We are in a smaller cage too. That will lead to more action but clinch time always milks the clock and Antonina is dominant there.

Boxing range actually favors the better kicker in Shevchenko I think.

That’s where Katlyn becomes uncomfortable.

She loves it on the outside and it’s arguable if Shev can excel at all 3 ranges.

I give her boxing and clinch.

The wrestling should cancel out if there is any.

I’m not completely sold on a counter fighter out-pointing someone who stays as busy as Chookagian.

I do believe, though, that Antonina will close the distance if she needs to and win the fight there.

Get your bets in now, guys!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.