In tonight’s thrilling UFC 215 main event rematch, Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes faced Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko for the bantamweight championship.
Round 1: Big John McCarthy is tonight’s main event referee. They touch gloves and we are underway. Both fighters start with a low kick. Nunes and Shevchenko are feeling each other out– staying at a distance and throwing very little. Little action throughout the first round so far, both fighters are fighting really defensively. Shevchenko’s leg appears to look a little red. Ten seconds left in the first, Nunes catches a kick from Shevchenko and pushers her down. Shevchenko hops right back up and the bell sounds. Likely a round for Nunes.
Round 2: Again, both women come out defensively. Valentina holding her traditional Muay Thai stance while Nunes is moving loosely. Amanda is clearly the bigger woman in the octagon. Superman punch lands for Shevchenko. Nunes is doing a great jo of measuring distance by constantly pumping her jab. Shevchenko keeps looking for that superman punch. Shevchenko seems slightly more hesitant this round. Nunes and Shevchenko each land a nice combination to end the round. Close round, but I’ve got Shevchenko as she landed more.
Round 3: Right check hook counter shot from Shevchenko to start round three. There is blood coming from the left foot of Shevchenko. Nunes always has that right hand cocked and loaded ready to throw but Shevchenko is pulling her head away just in time. Shevchenko has looked to clinch a few times but Nunes has shrugged her off each time. Nunes fakes low and comes up with a nice head kick, Shevchenko blocks. Referee BJM steps in for a moment to give Nunes an official warning for extending her fingertips. No point taken. The commentators point out that Shevchenko could potentially have injured her finger– Joe says she got punched on the tip of her hand and her finger extended back. Another round close to call!
Round 4: The Lioness lets out a yell from the stool in her corner! An intense staredown from across the octagon. The fourth round begins! Shevchenko comes in for a superman punch again but Nunes counters with stiff left hand. Nunes’ cardio is holding up so far. Shevchenko cracks the champion but she shakes it off. Shevchenko lands a good knee. She’s definitely opening up more now. Two minutes left in the fourth frame! There has been no grappling or takedown attempts thus far in the fight. This is a round for Shevchenko.
Round 5: This is the first time Nunes has been to a fifth round in her professional career. Really, really technical fight. Nunes shoots for a takedown but Shevchenko stuffs it. The champ has the challenger pressed against the cage. Nunes is working for that takedown. They separate. Back at range and Shevchenko is working those low leg kicks. Shevchenko attempts a head and arm throw as Nunes pushes forward! Nunes lands on the back of Shevchenko! She pops up. Against the cage Nunes secures a double leg and drops Shevchenko. Nunes working to to advance position. Shevchenko is in full guard. The bell rings. Nunes looks toward Shevchenko. Shevchenko pushes her off with a kick and flashes Nunes the bird. BJM separates them as the crowd erupts and Nunes calls for more.
Amanda Nunes defeats Valentina Shevchenko via split-decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).