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It wasn’t a highlight reel victory, as so many of Valentina Shevchenko’s fights have been. And, if truth be told, it wasn’t tremendously exciting.
But Shevchenko showed why she’s quickly becoming the UFC’s most dominant champion by grinding out a one-sided decision Saturday over Liz Carmouche in their bout for the UFC flyweight title in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Two months after she scored a head kick knockout of Jessica Eye at UFC 238, Shevchenko had to be more tactical given the cautious style Carmouche employed.
Carmouche stayed well on the outside for much of the fight, keeping herself out of range of Shevchenko’s strikes. Carmouche moved quite a bit, but she was hesitant to step into range where she could be hit by Shevchenko.
That prevented Shevchenko from delivering a memorable finish, but she stayed patient and didn’t let herself get frustrated.
“My strategy was to use all my skills to defend her,” Shevchenko said.
That she did, and she mixed in just enough offense to control the fight. Whenever the two got close to each other, it was Shevchenko who was landing and she scored a pair of knockdowns.
Neither did much damage and Carmouche wasn’t hurt, but it was evidence of why Carmouche was reluctant to engage.
It was a rematch of a fight from 2010, early in both of their careers, that Carmouche won by doctor’s stoppage. It was obvious early on this one would be vastly different.
After beating Carmouche, who lost a bantamweight title bout to Ronda Rousey at UFC 157 on Feb. 23, 2013, in the first women’s bout in UFC history, Shevchenko now has wins over former world champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Holly Holm and Sarah Kaufman, Julianna Peña and Eye.
It’s an impressive list and is one of many reasons why Shevchenko is arguably the UFC’s most dominant champion.
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