We were supposed to get this fight at UFC 213, but unfortunately Amanda Nunes’ severe sinusitis flared up and she pulled out. After going through the build-up three times, Nunes and Shevchenko wasted no time getting after each other tonight at UFC 215. Arguably two of the best women fighters on the planet threw down to see who improved since UFC 196.
It started to look like a mirror of Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson’s second fight. The fight is close and Nunes and Shevchenko were cautious of engaging, but when action happened it was hard and vicious shots from both women. As Joe Rogan said in the third round, this fight was more “tactical then technical”. It’s also a battle that has taken place solely on the feet standing up.
Entering into the championship rounds, the fight heats up. Amanda Nunes rocks Shevchenko, then later Valentina returns the favor with a sick combo ending off with a vicious body knee. It becomes more of the same only with the suspense boiling over. The fight was incredibly even and on it’s way to a controversial split decision or even a draw.
In the final round, Amanda Nunes scored two takedowns. As the fight ends, Nunes is still on top of Shevchenko and they exchange some heated words which results in Valentina kicking her off after the bell. They end up hugging each other before the decision though, as Amanda Nunes retains her title in a razor-close split-decision. She apologized for pulling of her last fight in an emotional post-fight interview.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 9/9/2017.