Each time out, it seems like Valentina Shevchenko couldn’t take her game to another level. And the next time, she simply defies the odds and gets even better.
Shevchenko put on a remarkable, perhaps career-best, performance in a second-round TKO Saturday of Jessica Andrade to retain her women’s flyweight title at UFC 261 at VyStar Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, throwing the powerful Brazilian around like a tackling dummy.
She was a perfect 7-for-7 in takedowns and just systematically took Andrade apart. Shevchenko ended the fight by getting the former strawweight champion into the crucifix and dropping punches and elbows, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to stop it at 3:19 of the second.
Before the fight, Shevchenko uncharacteristically told Yahoo Sports that Andrade had nothing for her. And she went out and proved it with a blowout win. And she told the enthusiastic sell-out crowd to forget about trying to find a weakness in her arsenal.
“Don’t waste your time,” she said. “There isn’t one.”
She looked near-perfect Saturday, and stunned Andrade by her wrestling-heavy approach.
Andrade told Joe Rogan in the cage after the bout, “We were expecting to fight standing a little more.”
Andrade did literally nothing but absorb punishment, and this is a highly regarded ex-champion. When Shevchenko got her in the crucifix, she knew the end was near.
“After I saw the blood and the referee was right there, I knew I had to go harder, harder and he’d stop the fight,” she said.
He did it and Shevchenko won again. She stands shoulder-to-shoulder with double champion Amanda Nunes as the two greatest women’s fighters in the world and the two greatest women of all-time in MMA.
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