Valentina Shevchenko still doesn’t understand how two of the three judges scoring the UFC 215 headliner last Saturday awarded the bout to Amanda Nunes.
Nunes defeated Shevchenko via split decision at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to retain the bantamweight crown and defeat “Bullet” for a second time. All five rounds were closely contested, and Shevchenko believed she landed the more damaging blows over the course of 25 minutes, although it was Nunes who held a slight edge in significant striking figures.
“I respect the decision of judges, but I don’t agree with the decision at all,” she said at the post-fight press conference. “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.”
Three days removed from that bitter defeat, Shevchenko still has issues with how the contest was scored, as she issued a lengthy statement on her Facebook page:
First of all, I want to thank all those who supported me! The support from my dear friends, media, and fans is very important to me!
After 5 rounds fight the judges were divided in opinion, and 2-1 they gave victory to Nunes (48-47, 47-48, 47-48) I do not think that the fight was lost, 3 rounds out of 5 I definitely won.
In the middle of the first round, after exchanging of punches, I dislocated a finger on my left hand , so I could not fully realize my advantage from the beginning of the fight.
During the break after the first round, my coach Pavel Fedotov put the joint in place, and from the second round I was able to work with both hands. And in the last 5th round Nunes made one take down against one of mine.
In addition, the new rules say and we were advised before the fight say that if you do not do any damage or action when you hold a position (including takedown) then this control does not give an advantage. And Nunes couldn't land not one punch on the ground. For the whole fight, I did not get a hit to my face from her.
If someone else has a doubt in my victory in the 2, 3, 4 rounds, then by what advantage did Nunes win? Leading a passive fight only pushing me with "tips" to the leg and not landing any punches? While I had to in the same time to both counterattack and attack her, because she took in passive position.
Some write and say that she held the center of the octagon, as an advantage. Our competitions are not called - to guard the center of the octagon and win. Yes, you can occupy the center of the octagon, but then receive all possible attacks. A fighter must and can use the entire perimeter of an octagon according to his tactics and style.
For example, the style of [Muhammad] Ali and Mike Tyson is completely different in how they used the different parts of the ring. This rule of the center of the octagon is made for when one fighter avoids fight and running out from the fight. Then, yes, the one who is in the center of the octagon has the advantage.
Running into an open strike exchange against an opponent who is taller, bigger and heavier would be foolish of me. And how bad can end this kind of "runs forward " we have seen in various fight. In my fights I put emphasis on technique, tactics, and speed.
We are doing martial arts, it is not the hardest forehead competition to win the victory, and not to win in accidentally striking exchange. The goal is to strike inflict damage and not receive damage in a response. And this can only be achieved by training your art to the highest level.
Therefore, after the fight, I have not a single bruise on my face, but all my fists and fingers are broken from delivering punches. I am very upset that it happened, especially upset for those fans who worried about me and supported me.
MMA is a very interesting and diverse sport, anything can happen. Of course, I'm upset, but I'm not going to let this stop me from achieving my goal. I'll rest a bit and then start training in order to get back to the octagon in the near future.
Nunes, we will meet again!