UFC 231 results, highlights: Valentina Shevchenko outpoints Joanna Jedrzejczyk for flyweight title
'Bullet' lived up to the hype on Saturday night in Toronto
More than a decade after Valentina Shevchenko proved her dominance against Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a trio of Muay Thai victories, the native of Russia was able to do the same in mixed martial arts.
Shevchenko (16-3), a former bantamweight title challenger who moved down in weight, proved too strong and powerful for the former strawweight queen in a dominant unanimous decision to win the vacant women's flyweight title at UFC 231 in Toronto.
All three judges scored the fight 49-46 for Shevchenko, who outlanded Jedrzejczyk (15-3) by a margin of 50-30 in terms of significant head strikes. CBS Sports also scored the fight for Shevchenko, 50-45.
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Three months after her original title shot fell apart when then-champion Nicco Montano was hospitalized due to a difficult weight cut (and eventually stripped), the 30-year-old Shevchenko was finally able to prove she's the class of the 125-pound division.
"I was waiting for so long this moment," said Shevchenko, who lost a disputed split decision to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in their 2017 rematch. "It's the magic words that I wanted to hear so long ago."
Shevchenko was never in trouble and set the tone early with hard and quick counter punches which never allowed Jedrzejczyk, who appeared unable to carry her power up from 115 pounds, to get into a rhythm in which she could close distance without paying for it.
A takedown in the first round let it be known how much stronger Shevchenko was as she secured side control and landed a series of short strikes. She went on to land five takedowns in all and was able to answer any success Jedrzejczyk, 31, had on her feet with harder counter fire.
"I am very happy that I get this belt in the fight with Joanna because she was very professional. I was not worried about whether this fight would happen or would not happen because I knew that she was responsible," Shevchenko said. "It means more to me to get this belt from this type of fight than from another opponent."
Jedrzejczyk, 31, lost a pair of fights to current strawweight champion Rose Namajunas over the last 13 months, which ended her title reign at five defenses. Although the native of Poland never slowed down and proved to have more gas in her tank than Shevchenko late, her moments of success on her feet proved few and far between.
Shevchenko had previously defeated Jedrzejczyk three times, all by decision, in Muay Thai bouts between 2006 and 2008.
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