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Valentina Shevchenko out of UFC 251 title fight due to injury

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will have to wait until a later date in 2020 to defend her title again.

On Tuesday, sources confirmed to MMA Fighting that Shevchenko was forced out of her upcoming fight against Joanne Calderwood, which was scheduled for UFC 251 on June 6 in Perth, Australia.

Calderwood initially told MMA Fighting that the fight was being pushed back, but she didn’t reveal what was causing the delay. Now it’s been revealed that Shevchenko is still dealing with a lingering leg injury following her win over Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247 in February.

ESPN was first to report news of the injury.

Shevchenko is expected to be ready for a return to action in late summer, and it’s expected she’ll still face Calderwood once she’s healthy.

Since moving to 125 pounds, Shevchenko has gone undefeated with a perfect 5-0 record including three straight title defenses since becoming flyweight champion.

As for Calderwood, she’s 3-1 in her past four fights including wins over Andrea Lee and Ariane Lipski.

There has been no confirmed main event for UFC 251, although featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has been rumored to headline the card in his first title defense.