A season of tumult in the women’s flyweight division has given rise to Valentina Shevchenko.
Viewed by many as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s uncrowned queen at 125 pounds, Shevchenko awaits word on her next assignment: a probable showdown with reigning flyweight titleholder Nicco Montano later this year. In the meantime, the 30-year-old Kyrgyzstani kickboxer looked on from the sidelines as former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Jennifer Maia transitioned to the UFC in defeat, as she dropped a unanimous decision to a revitalized Liz Carmouche at UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14 in Boise, Idaho.
Maia’s loss clears the way for Shevchenko to move to the top spot at 125 pounds in the latest Sherdog.com divisional rankings. Bellator MMA champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane slides to No. 2 and reigning KSW titleholder Ariane Lipski remains at No. 3 on the flyweight list, with Carmouche debuting in the No. 4 position.
Meanwhile, onetime heavyweight boss Junior dos Santos and Chad Mendes made their respective returns from lengthy absences at UFC Fight Night 133 and did so triumphantly. Dos Santos carved up Blagoy Ivanov to a unanimous decision in the main event, while Mendes put away Myles Jury with punches 2:52 into the first round. Mendes returns to the featherweight rankings at No. 8, while dos Santos holds steady at No. 9 on the heavyweight list.
Continue Reading » Heavyweight