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UFC 215 Review: Nunes Retains Bantamweight Title With Narrow Shevchenko Win

UFC 215 Review: Nunes Retains Bantamweight Title With Narrow Shevchenko Win
11:29, 10 Sep 2017

Amanda Nunes yet again got the best of Valentina Shevchenko in their second fight in eighteen months with a split decision victory after five rounds at the Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada.

The decision left Valentina Shevchenko reeling afterwards stating “I really don’t understand why. She didn’t win that fight, look at her face! I totally disagree with this decision”. Her accurate counter striking style was clearly not deemed to be enough to seal victory and the judges’ scorecards left fans bemused also.

Statistically, the challenger outstruck the champion in three of the five rounds, however a couple of takedowns in the decisive fifth round were all important in sealing the victory. Nunes makes her second defence of her bantamweight title with her next challenger yet to emerge.

Rafael dos Anjos earned himself a crucial victory in his career as a welterweight in the co-main event, submitting Neil Magny inside the first round. The former lightweight champion quickly dispatched of divisional mainstay Magny with a slick arm triangle after dominating the American on the ground.

It marked two wins from two since dos Anjos made the move up to welterweight after openly saying that the cut to 155 pounds was becoming too tough. With Tyron Woodley having defeated the top players in the division, this victory puts the Brazilian in title contention, and he had no issues in telling the champion what he thought after his victory.

FOX Sports: UFC on Twitter
FOX Sports: UFC on Twitter

Henry Cejudo put on a performance to stake his claim to rematch flyweight king Demetrious Johnson, after stopping Wilson Reis less than thirty seconds into the second round. Cejudo demonstrated how well rounded his game is, taking Reis to the mat and putting on a clinical display utilising his stand up also. His dominant performance earned himself a $50,000 bonus.

Swedish light heavyweight Ilir Latifi ended the unbeaten run of Tyson Pedro after three competitive rounds with the Swede’s wrestling too hot to handle for the Australian. The four takedowns secured by Latifi possibly making the difference on the scorecards. Jeremy Stephens put on a stunning performance to outpoint Gilbert Melendez, but the main talking point is the heart of Melendez who lasted the full fifteen minutes despite being knocked down an incredible five times.

Melendez’s leg looked in serious condition post fight after being repeatedly targeted with kicks by a dominant Jeremy Stephens. The fight was declared the fight of the night, earning both men $50,000 each and Melendez drew praise from Dana White.

Unbeaten Brazilian Ketlen Vieira put on her best performance yet by submitting former bantamweight title challenger Sara McMann with an arm-triangle choke inside the second round. The fight closed off the preliminary portion and should move Vieira into the top ten at 135 pounds.

Sarah Moras also assured herself of a place in the top fifteen in the women’s bantamweight division after submitting Ashlee Evans-Smith with a slick armbar in the first round whilst Rick Glenn dominated Gavin Tucker with the referee coming under fire from fans and fighters for allowing Tucker to take far too much unnecessary damage.

Alex White upset the crowd early on, stopping Edmonton’s own Mitch Clarke in the second round to leave the Canadian with three consecutive losses in the octagon. Indo-Canadian Arjan Bhullar outpointed Luis Henrique on his octagon debut to extend his professional record to 7-0.

Kajan Johnson opened the evening with an upset over Brazilian Adriano Martins with a third-round knockout leaving the underdog with three consecutive victories in the octagon.

The UFC rolls onto Pittsburgh next weekend with Luke Rockhold returning to action against David Branch.

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