Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action for UFC 215: “Nunes vs Shevchenko 2,” which went down last night (Sat.,Sept. 9, 2017) inside Rogers Center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The promotion’s latest mixed martial arts (MMA) card was headlined by a women’s Bantamweight fight that saw division champion Amanda Nunes hang on to her strap by barely edging out Valentina Shevchenko in a back-and-forth title fight. In the co-main event, Rafael dos Anjos continued his assault on the Welterweight division by choking out Neil Magny in the very first round.
Biggest winner: Amanda Nunes
She wasn’t supposed to be in the main event, but after the Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg title bout was nixed, Amanda made the most of her second chance by outlasting Valentina Shevchenko after five rounds of intense action to hang on to her strap, scoring her first-ever title defense in the process. With two wins over “Bullet” in her back pocket, she has one less contender to worry about. But, the rest of the division is now gunning for “Lioness,” and they’ll be coming hard hoping to be the one to knock her of her throne. Whether or not the promotion gives her top billing on purpose, is another story.
Runner Up: Rafael dos Anjos
After back-to-back defeats at Lightweight, “RDA” decided to move up to 170-pounds in search of a win. And win he did, as he has now racked up two straight victories against some formidable foes in the former of Tarec Saffiedine and now Magny. The move has proven to be a good one for the Brazilian bomber, who is in search of a title in two separate divisions. And since he was already considered a backup to Demian Maia at UFC 214, he’s closer to another shot at gold with his latest impressive win.
Biggest Loser: Gilbert Melendez
The Octagon has not been kind to “El Nino,” as the former Strikeforce Lightweight champion only has one victory in six attempts inside the Octagon. His loss against Jeremy Stephens last night was his fourth straight defeat, and not the exact way he envisioned his drop down to featherweight going. Indeed, Stephens battered “El Nino’s” right leg to the point it almost forced him to quit on the stool before the final round. In the end, Melendez toughed it out only to lose a unanimous decision. Now, the future is uncertain for Gilbert, as he now has to contemplate staying at 145 or move back up to 155. Either way, it won’t get an easier for Melendez, as losing four in a row not only puts his career in danger, it also puts his confidence on life support.
For complete UFC 215 coverage, including play-by-play results, click here.