UFC Chicago Results- Shevchenko Earns Decision over Holm

*Written on location w/ Colin “Mitch” Mitchell- United Center, Chicago IL

Even after losing her UFC Women’s Bantamweight championship in her first defense of the title (as would the woman who took it from her, Miesha Tate) Holly Holm is still considered a main event caliber name thanks to her head kick/ ground-and pound KO of the face of women’s MMA at the time–Ronda Rousey.

There is no comparing Holm and Shevchenko before leather met head. Holly was her usual bundle of nerves and energy. Holm had everything to lose. We knew it, she knew it. Shevchenko was simply hungry, 135 pounds of composure and focus.

The Peruvian Shevchenko lands the first significant strike of the contest, a right as soon as Holm comes within range. She repeats it. “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm gets the crowd on its feet with what looks to be the early end they were hoping for following an uppercut. Shevchenko is back up and kicks off her offensive attack with a nice jab before lacing up Holm’s waist and finishing a trip. Holm responds with knees before the horn.

With a little less than two minutes gone off the clock in the second round, Shevchenko begins the round that would lead to her controlling the rest of the fight. She clinches Holm against the fence but Holm circles out. The up-and-comer returned a flurry of missed punches with a parting blow and a stiff missed cross with a spinning back fist. The former champion takes a foot to the abdomen, a left from over the top, and another thudding leg kick before another chance to rest.

It’s clear to everyone now that Shevchenko is only countering for the most part, but it’s keeping Holm at bay. She widened the gap between them with elbows in half guard, opening a cut to the side of Holm’s right eye, taking the third (it was later reported that the cut was actually due to an accidental headbutt.)

A leg kick and straight right combo from Shevchnko gets the fourth going. It’s mostly just kicks that seem to be landing for Holm now and each time they do, they’re countered. Traditional stick-and-move strategy comes into play from Shevchnko with a jab and overhand left. The end of the round sees a pair of failed takedowns from Shevchenko and energy striking from both.

The fifth is underway in the same manner, as if someone restarted a videogame. Lowkicks are landing at will from both sides and are simply adding up in volume to score points. A weakening Holm better denies a double-leg takedown this time, keeping it a kickboxer’s bout (what she wants.) With three minutes to go, it’s Holm who offers up a jab this time. She’s then popped with a cross.

Holm’s chances are fading now. Another southpaw blow is avoided and she’s tagged with an orthodox punch. Shevchenko drains the final minute and takes the win.

“We knew she was a counter puncher and we were ready for that. She is tough and I knew that. I knew I had my hands full in this fight. I knew it was a really big challenge. What can you do? I know it was a competitive fight and I could have done more. I’m disappointed in myself and take nothing away from her. She was a very tough opponent.

“I have no excuses. My performance was not where it needed to be tonight.”

Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

The Rest of the Card

Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez via Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Francis Ngannou def. Bojan Mihajlović via TKO (Punches)1 1:44

Felice Herrig def. Kailin Curran via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)1 1:59

Preliminary Card (Fox)

Eddie Wineland def.Frankie Saenz via TKO (punches)3 1:54

Darren Elkins def. Godofredo Pepey via Decision (unanimous) (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)

Kamaru Usman def.Alexander Yakovlevvia Decision (unanimous) (30-25, 30-25, 30-25

Michel Prazeres def. J.C. Cottrell via Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

Alex Oliveira def .James Moontasri via Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)

Jason Knight def. Jim Alers via Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Luis Henrique def. Dmitry Smoliakov via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)2 3:58