Finally at home at her natural weight, women’s flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko continues to stake her claim as quite possibly the most dominant champion in UFC.
Shevchenko (18-3) avenged the first loss of her pro career in dominant fashion by pitching a shutout over five rounds against former bantamweight title contender Liz Carmouche (13-7) in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card in Montevideo, Uruguay. All three judges scored the fight 50-45.
Improving to 4-0 since moving down to the newly created 125-pound division in 2018, the 31-year-old Shevchenko made the second defense of the vacant title she won by outpointing former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
“My strategy was to use all my skills to defend her,” Shevchenko said. “She has very uncommon techniques, styles and timing. That’s why I did everything to ensure my victory inside the cage.”
The 35-year-old Carmouche, who lost the inaugural women’s title bout in UFC history to Ronda Rousey in 2013, was unable to equal the success she had in recording a second-round TKO of Shevchenko via doctor stoppage in 2010 when the two met under the C3 Fights banner.
Shevchenko was completely dominant in this fight despite stretches of booing from the crowd for the lack of action. The champion was content to counter from the outside for most of the five-round bout as she routinely made Carmouche pay for closing the distance.
Carmouche was floored by a two-punch combination in Round 3 and a spinning backfist one round later. She never quite went for broke, however, and Shevchenko ultimately played things conservatively despite long stretches of controlling the fight from top position on the ground after failed takedown attempts from Carmouche.
“I want everyone here inside the Octagon,” Shevchenko said about what’s next. “Whatever. I want to fight Amanda Nunes for the [bantamweight] title.”
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