Valentina Shevchenko avenged her first career loss in one-sided fashion, outworking Liz Carmouche in the UFC on ESPN+ 14 main event to achieve her second consecutive UFC women’s flyweight title defense.
After a controversial doctor’s stoppage TKO ended their first fight in September 2010, Shevchenko (18-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) got one back against Carmouche (13-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC) in the form of a unanimous decision, winning every round on all three scorecards.
The women’s flyweight title bout was the UFC on ESPN+ 14 main event at Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay. The event streamed on ESPN+.
The opening round was something of a feeling out process. Shevchenko pressed forward on Carmouche, throwing combinations and mixing in spinning attacks to keep the challenger guessing. Carmouche remained calm, doing her best to weave threw the strikes and avoid taking anything clean. She didn’t get much going in her own right, but also prevented Shevchenko from getting much in the way of meaningful momentum.
It was more of the same to start the second round. Carmouche used a lot of movement, throwing one strike at a time and staying outside of Shevchenko’s range. She would shoot for a takedown less than two minutes in, but would have it instantly stuffed by the champion. Shevchenko kept stalking Carmouche, but didn’t over commit to anything, which and was content to pick her shots. That’s how it played out for the remainder of the round, and the crowd was growing somewhat restless with the lack of major action.
Shevchenko came out in the third round looking to pepper the legs of Carmouche. She found success, landing several hard kicks on her opponent. Just when Carmouche was thinking the attacks were going low, Shevchenko decked her with a left cross that results in the first knockdown of the fight. Carmouche quickly recovered and Shevchenko opted not to follow her to the ground. The fight returned standing, but then Shevchenko cliched up and dragged Carmouche to the ground with a nice body lock. She kept top control for the majority of the final minute, but couldn’t get anything off in terms of ground-and-pound.
With the fight firmly in her control, Shevchenko was not keen to take major risks in the championship rounds. She picked her shots on Carmouche, defended takedown attempts and then got another slick takedown of her own. She would spent several minutes in top control before the bout finally returned to the feet. Carmouche tried to make something happen by charging inside, but she was greeted with a spinning backfist that dropped her to her knees. Shevchenko got on top and tried to work her way into position for a submission, but Carmouche defended intelligently and made it out of the round.
In desperate need of a shocking turnaround, Carmouche’s corner implored her to go for the finish in the final five minutes. Shevchenko wasn’t giving her any openings to make that happen, though, keeping just active enough with her punches and kicks to avoid allowing Carmouche to get in range to land. Carmouche got in deep on a single leg takedown attempt, but Shevchenko sprawled away and avoided any danger. She found her way into top position, where she smothered Carmouche for the final three minutes to close out the dominant affair with scorecards of 50-45 across the board.
“My strategy was to use all my skills to defend against her. She has very uncommon techniques and style and timing. I did everything to assure my victory inside the cage and not let any surprises happen inside the fight.”
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 14 results include:
Valentina Shevchenko def. Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – to defend women’s flyweight title
Vicente Luque def. Mike Perry via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Volkan Oezdemir def. Ilir Latifi via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 4:31
Rodolfo Vieira def. Oskar Piechota via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 4:26
Enrique Barzola def. Bobby Moffett via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Gilbert Burns def. Aleksei Kunchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ciryl Gane def. Raphael Pessoa via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:12
Marina Rodriguez def. Tecia Torres via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Rogerio Bontorin def. Raulian Paiva via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:56
Chris Gutierrez def. Geraldo de Freitas via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Alex da Silva def. Kazula Vargas via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Veronica Macedo def. Polyana Viana via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:09
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC on ESPN+ 14 results: Valentina Shevchenko avenges loss, defends title against Liz Carmouche