It should come as no surprise that the two main components of the UFC 215 headliner don’t see eye-to-eye on the way the contest was scored.
Amanda Nunes retained the women’s bantamweight championship with a split-decision triumph over Valentina Shevchenko at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Saturday night. Each round was razor close, as evidenced by the media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com: 10 saw the fight for Nunes, 10 had it for Shevchenko and two more scored the contest a draw.
According to FightMetric.com figures, Nunes outlanded Shevcheko 86 to 72 in significant strikes and held a striking edge in four of the five rounds. The Brazilian also landed the bout’s only two takedowns, including one late in the final frame that could have clinched her victory. With all that in mind, Nunes believes that her getting the nod on the scorecards was an easy call.
“I didn’t think it was close. I thought it was a clear victory for me,” Nunes said. “She landed a few good punches, but I dominated the rounds and, in the last round, I took her down and kept her there to seal the deal. This whole camp, I focused on going five rounds and that’s why I was ready to control the later parts of the fight.”
For Shevchenko, the loss was a bitter pill to swallow. “Bullet” relied on footwork, head movement and effective counters for much of the fight, and she wasn’t happy with the notion that Nunes’ final takedown might have swayed the final scorecards.
“I respect the decision of judges, but I don’t agree with the decision at all,” she said. “In this fight, three rounds [were] mine. I won three rounds. In the fifth round, only one takedown and she didn’t do nothing. For this takedown to get the victory, I disagree with that. Even on the ground, I was landing more punches. She was just holding position.”
In fact, Shevchenko says she probably deserved to win four of the bout’s five rounds.
“I think after the first round it was pretty close,” she said. “Second, third and fourth it was mine. And the fifth all of it was mine except for just one takedown.”
Nunes and Shevchenko initially squared off at UFC 196, with Nunes winning a three-round verdict. Their rematch was originally scheduled for UFC 214, but Nunes pulled out on the day of the bout due to a sinus issue. Despite being 0-2 against her rival, Shevchenko has designs on a trilogy with Nunes.
“I will be back to fight for the belt again because that is my belt,” she said.
Nunes recognizes Shevchenko’s talent and expects that her foe will continue to have plenty of success at 135 pounds.
“I know she’s gonna go back and beat a lot of girls in this division,” she said. “Her style is very hard to figure out.”
However, she wasn’t ready to commit to a third meeting just yet.
“We’ll see how the division goes,” Nunes said. “We’ll discuss this later.”