Valentina Shevchenko continued her dominance over the women's flyweight division on Saturday in the UFC 247 co-main event in Houston, Texas. Shevchenko faced top ranked conteneder Katlyn Chookagian at Toyota Center and outclassed the challenger.
Shevchenko was sharp with her striking and quickly found her timing in the opening round. Chookagian tried to use her height and reach advantage to keep Shevchenko at distance but the Russian responded with counter strikes.
Shevchenko was the faster of the two fighters and showed her versatility. She landed punches and kicks but also secured takedowns. She took Chookagian to the ground in the closing moments of the opening frame and opened up a cut on Chookagian's forehead with an elbow.
In the second round, Shevchenko opened up with her striking employing a variety of techniques. She connected with a spinning kick to the body and head. With 90 seconds remaining in the frame, Shevchenko secured a takedown. The round ended with Shevchenko in top position peppering Chookagian with short punches.
Chookagian came out aggressive in the third round landing a hard kick to the body. Shevchenko closed the distance and Chookagian tried to pull guard. Shevchenko remained on her feet and tipped Chookagian to the canvas landing in side control.
As soon as the two hit the ground, Shevchenko trapped an arm and put Chookagian in the crucifix position leaving Chookagian unable to defend herself. Shevchenko hammered away with a series of right hands until the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Shevchenko expected to get the win, but didn't expect it to take place on the ground. "I expected a round-kick KO," said Shevchenko following the win.
With the win, Shevchenko has now beaten the top fighters in the division. She's finished the two two contenders in her last two outings leaving no clear challenger to face her next.
"I feel like there are a lot of really good girls in the 125-pound division and I feel like I still have to fight them. But I'm open to anything. I'm open for any fight that comes in the future," said Shevchenko.