Valentina Shevchenko vs Amanda Nunes UFC 196 Full Fight Part 1
- Posted on Apr 30, 2019
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Amanda Nunes went from nearly putting Valentina Shevchenko away in the second to just barely surviving the third, but in the end her early work was enough.
Nunes (12-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) gutted the fight out late and relied on her strong first two rounds to carry her to a unanimous decision victory over Shevchenko (12-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) with scores of 29-28, 29-27, and 29-27.
The women’s bantamweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC 196 event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
After a close first round during which Shevchenko was perhaps a little too patient, conceding the initiative to Nunes in the striking exchanges, Nunes really took over early in the second.
After a takedown, Nunes unleashed a series of damaging elbows from half-guard that cut Shevchenko open and exposed some of her weaknesses on the mat. Nunes would spend the majority of the round beating Shevchenko up from the top position before passing and taking her back, locking in a body triangle late in the round and looking for the rear-naked choke.
Shevchenko not only survived that scare, but got the top position before the horn sounded to end the second. When the fighters came out to start the third, however, it became clear that Nunes had spent much of what she had in the gas tank trying to finish the fight in the previous round.
With Nunes lunging in on rubbery legs, Shevchenko turned the tables and went on the attack for sustained periods for the first time in the fight. After briefly controlling Nunes on the mat after a failed takedown attempt from Nunes, Shevchenko battered the Brazilian on the feet, with Nunes looking like she was just trying to survive to the final horn.
But Nunes did survive, and her efforts in the first two rounds were enough to convince all three judges to give her the fight, resulting in a unanimous decision win.
“I think the third round, I got tired a bit, but I did a lot of work in all three rounds,” Nunes said. “I think my cardio might have lacked a bit because I have never been three rounds before. I am ready to get my title shot. I’ve fought top-five opponents for a while now, but now it’s my time. Every day I am bringing in new training and technique and I am very proud of myself for what I am accomplishing.”
The victory is the third in a row for Nunes. Shevchenko loses for the first time in nearly six years.