The UFC women’s bantamweight division has been thrown into further turmoil following yet another defeat for former champion Holly Holm.
Holly Holm defeated division queen Ronda Rousey late last year to turn the sport on it’s head. A March defeat for Holm to perennial contender Miesha Tate further muddied the waters, with the belt changing hands yet again as Amamda Nunes destroyed the ill-fated Tate.
A new contender has entered the fray in the form of Muay Thai specialist Valentina Shevchenko.
The Kyrgyzstani underdog put paid to any hope of a swift Holm comeback, earning a unanimous decision win over the ‘Precher’s Daughter’ (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).
Rather than the bulldozing we saw against Rousey back in November 2015, this encounter resembled the tense affairs that comprised Holm’s UFC fights pre-Rousey.
A tentative first round swung the way of the American, knocking down her foe with a beautiful right hand.
Shevchenko found more success in the second – a close round which she ended up winning on the judge’s scorecards. The third round also went her way as she exposed Holly’s lack of grappling nous, allowing the 28-year-old to initiate some nasty ground-and-pound.
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2016
Shevchenko’s excellent and consistent countering of the somewhat trigger-shy Holm allowed her to edge the final two rounds in the eyes of the judges. Either a title eliminator with Julianna Pena or a rematch with now-champion Amanda Nunes surely lie on the horizon.
— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) July 24, 2016
As for Holm, her extraordinary win over Ronda seems like a lifetime ago.
We might have just kissed goodbye forever that rematch between Rousey and Holm.
— Chuck Mindenhall (@ChuckMindenhall) July 24, 2016
Fight highlights below via UFC ON FOX.