#WMMADebate: Does Taila Santos deserve an immediate rematch against UFC flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko?

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Taila Santos made headlines this past weekend after calling out Valentina Shevchenko to a rematch at the UFC 282 event in December.

Taila Santos presented a tough challenge for Valentina Shevchenko this past June.

Santos (19-2-0) challenged Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC flyweight championship at the UFC 275 event. The Brazilian found a lot of success in the fight, particularly in the grappling department, landing multiple takedowns and attempting several submissions. Ultimately, she lost a split decision, with two of the three judges awarding the fight to Shevchenko.

Following Santos’ recent call-out, fans in the comments section of the WMMA Rankings Twitter Page have been divided when it comes to the situation. Many feel like Santos deserves an immediate rematch, whilst others believe she needs to earn a rematch.

WMMA Rankings staff members Bolu, Brittany, Tonya, Nick, and Crissy have had their say in the latest #WMMADebate. Take a look at their opinions below.


Bolu: I think Taila Santos deserves another chance at Valentina Shevchenko. Everyone that has faced Valentina at flyweight has fallen victim to either a dominant decision or a brutal finish. Taila Santos, despite being predicted to fall to the same fate, won the first two rounds and after an unintentional headbutt in the third, lost a very close final three rounds overall by split decision. I think Fiorot’s comments on her next opponent are something that has to be addressed. She wants to face Alexa Grasso instead of the champion after just beating the number one contender. Fiorot clearly doesn’t believe she is ready for Shevchenko. So I think Taila has to be next. It’s a relatively similar situation to Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno pushed the champ to his limits and came just short with a draw. With a fight as close as Santos vs Shevchenko, you have to immediately run it back.


Brittany: My answer is yes but I wouldn’t feel too short-changed if she didn’t. It’s hard to deny the rematch for Santos when she had by far the best showing out of anyone in that division against Valentina but sometimes these immediate rematches do feel like they hold the division up a little. When we have prospects like Grasso and Fiorot just getting wins, it would make sense for the UFC to capitalize on their momentum, and in a division like this that’s had a long-time dominant champ, it’s nice to see fresh faces at the top. That being said, I do think fans would be upset that Taila didn’t get another shot particularly as the fight seemed to change after the accidental headbutt. I think the rematch presents both women with a great opportunity, for Santos it’s the chance to capture the belt and for Valentina – a chance to show that she’s the best, no questions asked. 


Tonya: Does Taila Santos deserve an immediate rematch against Valentina Shevchenko for the Flyweight title?  I could say, “Yes of course she does, the end.”  It would be nice, neat, tidy, and we could all go home. But that would be too easy and quite frankly, boring.  So let’s have a proper think shall we? 

Lauren Murphy is booked to fight Jessica Andrade on January 21st at UFC 283, so that takes those ladies out of the mix.

Manon Fiorot’s latest victory over Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 280, puts her firmly in a contender’s position for a Flyweight title shot.  However, after recent statement’s made by Fiorot, it would seem that she would like one more win before fighting for the title.  The question is, do we match her up against fellow up-and-comer Alexa Grasso and potentially derail a hype-train for one of those two ladies, while leaving Taila out to dry? Or do we put Fiorot through a trial by fire against Santos, using the latter as gate-keeper to get to Shevchenko, with the Bullet facing the winner of that bout? 

Personally, I’d like to see Shevchenko fight Nunes next for the Bantamweight title.  Their last match-up in 2017 went to Nunes in a 5 round decision at UFC 215, and I think it’s high time we revisit that match-up.  What else does Nunes have to do?

So, does Taila Santos deserve an immediate rematch against Valentina Shevchenko for the Flyweight title?  Probably.  But let’s cause a little chaos and ruffle some feathers first, let’s live a little.  


Nick: Normally, a close fight with the champion as the challenger doesn’t guarantee an instant rematch. However, due to the way Valentina has previously bulldozed through the division’s top contenders, Taila has a real claim here. With a shortage of contenders for Valentina, I am all for the rematch. I hate to pit Fiorot vs. Grasso against one another since it will derail one of them as an immediate challenger, however, I don’t think it’s fair to put them in with Valentina now when they’ve both expressed the desire for one more (preferably five round) fight before challenging for the title. In short, I think it’s an easy fix. Shevchenko vs. Santos 2, Grasso vs. Fiorot.


Crissy: Taila Santos definitely deserves an immediate rematch! She is the only one I feel can beat Valentina. She looked great on the first outing too. As most people said, Santos brought something to that fight that Valentina wasn’t expecting. I would love to see them run it back.


WMMA fans, what are your opinions on the topic? Sound off in the comments section below!

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One thought on “#WMMADebate: Does Taila Santos deserve an immediate rematch against UFC flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko?

  1. With Alexa and Manon both wanting another fight before challenging for the title, they seem like the obvious match-up for each other. That basically leaves Shevchenko with Santos or a move up to 135 to challenge for the title once more. I’d be good with either, but I think the Santos rematch is more deserving.

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