This past June, UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (17-3) knocked out Jessica Eye with a head kick so spectacular it rattled the MMA world for a while. This happens every so often: An act of violence occurs in the cage that’s simultaneously so beautiful and so horrifying that it makes even hardened fans, long since accustomed to the endless ways mixed martial artists can harm each other, confront all over again the awful fact that MMA is not just a sport but also something much, much darker.
One could be forgiven for assuming no woman in the flyweight division wanted to fight her. Yet here we are in August, barely two months later, and Liz Carmouche (13-6) is challenging Shevchenko for the belt in a fight that can be streamed on ESPN+—as if that kick never happened, as if Jessica Eye hadn’t laid there on the canvas unconscious for what seemed like an eternity.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise; Carmouche doesn’t seem to get rattled. After all, she was one half of the first women’s fight in UFC history in 2013, a time when many people (including UFC President Dana White) were openly hostile to the idea. And even those who supported women’s MMA were unable to see Carmouche as anything but a sacrificial lamb on the altar of Ronda Rousey’s inevitable, unstoppable, eminently marketable rise to superstardom.
But Carmouche clearly didn’t fancy the role of historical footnote and even under all those lights and all that media scrutiny, she fought hard and happily and very nearly won the fight with a rear-naked choke before succumbing to a Rousey armbar late in the first round, which was the thing to do back in 2013.
So if Carmouche wasn’t afraid to break the UFC’s gender barrier and if she wasn’t afraid to be the promotion’s first openly gay athlete and if she wasn’t afraid to do three tours in the Middle East as a Marine, of course she wouldn’t be shaken by a little head kick. Plus, she already has a victory over Shevchenko on her record, which means something in a rematch.
In 2010, during the dark ages of women’s MMA, Carmouche and Shevchenko met in some minor-league promotion in middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma for a few hundred dollars. It was a freezing cold night and the cage was set up outside in the snow and the promoter had told Carmouche that she would be fighting Antonina Shevchenko, Valentina’s younger, far less-experienced sister, rather than the nine-time world kickboxing champion, only to give her the bad news at the last moment.
But still they fought. And to everyone’s surprise, Carmouche won, catching Shevchenko with a strike in the second round that cut her open and forced the ring doctor to call the fight. Count that as a psychological advantage over one of the greatest females fighters in history, and one more reason why Carmouche was never going to be afraid of her.
Here’s everything you need to know to live stream Shevchenko vs. Carmouche.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche
- When: Saturday, August 10, at 8pm ET
- Where: Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay
- Streaming: ESPN (free with various one-week trials)
UFC Fight Night Uruguay: Watch UFC on ESPN+
UFC Fight Night Uruguay is being broadcast on ESPN+—the streaming service which, as of March 2019, signed a seven-year deal with the MMA organization to be the only home of UFC PPV telecasts and nearly two dozen UFC Fight Nights per year.
- Cost: $4.99 per month or $49.99 for 12 months
- Devices: Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku players and TV, Oculus Go, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Samsung smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices
ESPN+ is a great way to consume all kinds of combat sports content. ESPN+ recently halted its free trial, but the service only costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 for the entire year, and you’re also allowed to cancel at any time. Given how much content you receive, that’s a considerable deal.
You’ll be able to watch the entire 30 for 30 catalog on-demand, for example, as well as Top Rank boxing, daily MLB games, every out-of-market MLS game, international soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and thousands of college sporting events. ESPN+ works an extension of the main ESPN app. The ESPN+ exclusive content is designated by the “E+” logo in the corner of the preview tile.
UFC Fight Night Uruguay schedule
Main Event | 8pm on ESPN+
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche
- Vicente Luque vs. Mike Perry
- Eduardo Garagorri vs. Humberto Bandenay
- Volkan Oezdemir vs. Ilir Latifi
- Rodolfo Vieira vs. Oskar Piechota
- Enrique Barzola vs. Bobby Moffett
Preliminary Card | 5pm on ESPN
- Ciryl Gane vs. Raphael Pessoa Nunes
- Tecia Torres vs. Marina Rodriguez
- Rogerio Bontorin vs. Raulian Paiva
- Geraldo De Freitas vs. Chris Gutierrez
- Taila Santos vs. Ariane Carnelossi
- Kazula Vargas vs. Alex Da Silva
- Gilbert Burns vs. Aleksei Kunchenko
- Veronica Macedo vs. Polyana Viana
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