Amanda Nunes Got the better of Valentina Shevchenko in the first 10 minutes of this fight to secure a unanimous decision win tonight at UFC 196, though her opponent came to life in the final round to make it a closer contest overall.
Nunes circling on the outside to start. Nunes steps in with a punch, but gets clipped by an overhand from Shevchenko.
Hard body kick for Nunes. A couple of leg kicks apiece. Nunes goes for a head kick, but it’s blocked. Flurry from Nunes and Shevchenko moves away.
Another leg kick for Nunes. She’s been the quicker of the two so far and more willing to exchange, while Shevchenko is waiting for the right moment to strike or counter.
Spinning kick attempt from Nunes that doesn’t pay off. Shevchenko misses with a power punch. Nunes goes for a takedown and lands it.
Less than 30 seconds in the round remaining with Nunes in her opponent’s full guard. 10 seconds to go and Nunes stands and looks to rain down punches, but Shevchenko trips her. Nunes scrambles though and again takes down Shevchenko as the round ends.
Nunes with a body kick. Shevchenko lands a punch. Kick in return from Nunes. Leg kick from the Brazilian.
Body kick from Nunes and Shevchenko catches it and sweeps her other leg. They go to the mat and Nunes is on top. In half guard she starts to land some ground and pound. Landing some solid elbow strikes to the head now.
Shevchenko bleeding from the face as Nunes continues to attack. Shevchenko scrambles, but only gets partially up before Nunes gets her back down to the mat again. More ground and pound elbows and hammerfists from Nunes.
Nunes passes to side control, then mount briefly before taking the back. She sinks in a rear-naked choke, but it’s not under the chin. Nunes readjusts and tries again. Now for a third time, but Shevchenko hangs tough and then manages to turn and end the round on top.
Shevchenko misses with a punch and Nunes tries for a takedown. It’s stuffed, though Shevchenko does land a solid knee. Good elbow for Shevchenko and then she lands a solid takedown.
Shevchenko working on top, but just as she looks like she’s getting into an advantageous position Nunes rallies and kicks her off before moving to her feet.
Head kick misses for Nunes. Shevchenko capitalizes on another failed takedown for Nunes by clinching and banging in a few solid knees to the head.
Nunes again leaves her head low after a takedown attempt and pays for it with more knee strikes from the clinch by Shevchenko.
They break apart and Shevchenko lands a punch. 90 seconds to go and Shevchenko needs to keep this momentum going and try for a finish. Nunes with another weak takedown attempt, and again is greeted by a knee.
Shevchenko steps in and lands another knee, this time to the midsection. leg kick for Shevchenko and gets one in return that knocks her off-balance for a moment.
Shevchenko with another kick. Left hand for her. Another left and Nunes goes for the leg kick. Final 10 seconds and Nunes tries for another takedown. It’s mostly stuffed by Shevchenko who stays on her knees and lands a couple of punches.
Shevchenko came to life in the final round after a tentative start, but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory – Nunes wins by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2).