Last night at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, “The Lioness” Amanda Nunes (15-4) successfully defended the bantamweight championship against number contender Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (14-3). After five hard rounds Nunes was declared the victor via split decision on the judges scorecards. The incredibly close fight immediately sparked controversy with fellow fighters and fans alike. Some thought “The Lioness” did enough to retain while others thought “Bullet” shot her way to victory. Take a look at the fight breakdown below and let us know who you scored the fight for!
Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko
RD1: 16 of 39 – 41% vs 11 of 34 – 32% +5 strike differential
RD2: 17 of 35 – 48% vs 15 of 41 – 36% +2 strike differential
RD3: 17 of 43 – 39% vs 20 of 42 – 47% +3 strike differential
RD4: 20 of 50 – 40% vs 25 of 49 – 52% +5 strike differential
RD5: 15 of 28 – 54% vs 33 of 49 – 68% +18 strike differential
TOTAL: 85 of 195 – 43% vs 104 of 215 +19 strike differential
COMMENTS: Backed up by the numbers, Valentina was the more active and accurate striker. Shevchenko set up superman punches and counter check hooks to close the distance and land most of her shots. Nunes landed a couple a stiff jabs throughout the fight but nothing of major significance. Shevchenko also utilized a consistent right leg kick from her classic Muay Thai stance that set up her combinations. Shevchenko did a good job of pulling her head back to and avoiding Nunes’ high kicks and overhand rights. In the fifth round, Valentina was put on her back. She remained active from guard, landing sharp elbows and heavy punches.
TOTAL: 3 of 5 – 60% vs 0 of 1 – 0%
COMMENTS: The majority of the fight took place at kickboxing range. In the fifth round, as Amanda was pressing forward, Valentina attempted a judo throw but lost position in the scramble. The fighters were back on their feet after a brief moment on the canvas and Nunes went right to work on another takedown. Shevchenko’s takedown defense A1 but a persistent Nunes secured a late double leg.
TOTAL: 1 min 28 seconds of ground control, 1 min of clinch control
22 minutes 35 seconds of neutral position
COMMENTS: 22 minutes of the fight were spent in neutral position. No fighter had the clear advantage here. One fighters efforts were cancelled out by the others. For example, Nunes controlled the center of the octagon more but when “The Lioness” was controlling the center she was hesitant to engage. Throughout the fight, Nunes did a great job of avoiding a clinch battle with the Muay Thai specialist as she shrugged her off every time they engaged. In the fifth round, Nunes got the back of Shevchenko but didn’t sink her hooks in or advance position. The champion accrued 1 minute and 28 seconds of top control at the end of the round but against wasn’t able to advance position or land damaging shots.
Source: Stats provided by UFC official website. Numbers are “live and unofficial”.
Fight fans– let your thoughts be heard!