Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) asked women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and division No. 1 contender Valentina Shevchenko to settle their differences in the UFC 215 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last night (Sat., Sept. 9, 2017) inside Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Sure, promotion president Dana White was adamant that Nunes would never again headline another UFC PPV event, thanks to a fight-canceling sickness at UFC 213 back in July, but Ray Borg came up lame and Demetrious Johnson was told to hit the showers.
That left UFC no choice but to make this ladies night (oh what a night).
“Lioness” was looking to replicate her performance from UFC 196 back in March 2016 which ended in a unanimous decision win over “Bullet” and the chance to face — and defeat — Miesha Tate and Ronda Ronda Rousey in back-to-back championship fights.
The Brazilian was able to outlast her opponent after 25 minutes of action, which took place primarily on the feet. While the official result is a split decision in favor of Nunes, the challenger may have a legitimate claim to a third fight.
Even though she’s down 0-2.
That’s because Shevchenko was in the contest for all five rounds and looked legitimately shocked when the scores were read, telling Joe Rogan in her post-fight interview that she took zero damage while Nunes was red from getting slugged.
Never leave it in the hands of the judges and all that crap.
The big question coming out of UFC 215 is whether or not “Bullet” is entitled to an immediate rematch. Working against her is the fact that Nunes has already defeated her twice. Working for her is the state of the 135-pound division.
The next two contenders are Holly Holm and Julianna Pena, both of whom were defeated by Shevchenko en route to her Nunes rematch. After that comes Ronda Rousey, who was positively destroyed by “Lioness” last December.
It’s by no means the best-case scenario, but UFC matchmakers can only work with what they have. Without a finish in either contest, both of which were close, a third go-round is probably the best course of action.
Unless you, the fickle fight fan, has a better idea.
For much more on UFC 215 including results, videos, reactions, live updates and so much more, head over to our “Nunes vs. Shevchenko” comprehensive story stream by clicking here.