Valentina Shevchenko yet again defended her flyweight title tonight at UFC 266 with another performance in which she was in complete control against Lauren Murphy, before finally rocking her in the fourth round and finishing the job on the mat via ground-and-pound.
The flyweight co-main event title fight is underway in Las Vegas.
Fast leg kick for Shevchenko to start. She lands another to the inside leg. Punch lands for Murphy over the top, but gets caught by a right hook too. Shevchenko back to the leg kick.
Shevchenko steps into a power punch that just comes up short. Body kick from Shevchenko and though the kick is partially caught, she still manages to land a punch and then gets her leg free.
Superwoman punch from Shevchenko. She steps into a big left hand. Again she steps into that punch as she throws hard early.
Another powerful straight left for Shevchenko and a leg kick behind it. Another punch-kick combo for her. The champ tries a side kick to the head, but Murphy backs up out of range.
One-two and a leg kick for Shevchenko. Both ladies feel out with front kick attempts to the body. Hard right hand for Shevchenko.
Right hook for Shevchenko. Murphy already has significant swelling to her left cheek.
spinning backfist from Shevchenko lands. Now a head kick attempt. Murphy tries to throw a punch and gets caught by a left hand counter, then taken down in the center of the Octagon. Luckily for Murphy there’s only seconds remaining in the round and she survives them without taking any more punishment.
Shevchenko attempts an early trip takedown here in the second round, but Murphy actually manages to stuff that and then presses the champ against the cage.
Murphy now looking for a takedown attempt, working hard for a single-leg, but Shevchenko breaks free and gets back to striking range.
Kick from Murphy, but gets caught by a counter punch. superwoman punch from Shevchenko. Front kick to the body from the champ. Counter hook from Shevchenko.
Heavy body kick from Shevchenko and then another kick on the other side. Shevchenko ducks in to get the body lock and then brings Murphy to the mat with two minutes remaining in the round.
Shevchenko in half-guard here and remaining patient. Tight control from Shevchenko giving Murphy no space to escape.
Finally Shevchenko postures up and drops a single elbow down to the head before the horn sounds.
Calf kick for Shevchenko. Left hand for her down the pipe. Now a head kick attempt that just misses. Another stepping left hand from the champ. Now a counter left as Murphy comes forward.
Body kick from Shevchenko. Leg kick for Murphy. Push kick for the champion. Now a straight left and leg kick from Shevchenko.
Shevchenko fires off two front kicks to the face in a row that just come up short. Now back to the leg kicks.
Murphy lands a leg kick. Inside leg kick for Shevchenko and then a one-two. Now snapping jabs lands a head kick just comes off the guard.
Body kick for Murphy. Murphy attempts a superwoman punch that doesn’t pay off and then Shevchenko lands one of her own.
Body kick for Shevchenko. A flurry of punches and then the leg kick for her. Front kick to the body. Heavy body kick from Shevchenko. Now she goes to the clinch, moves to the back and keeps that position against the cage as the round comes to a close.
Calf kick for Shevchenko. Murphy with a right hand. Another kick from Shevchenko. Body kick from Murphy.
left hand from the champ. Another leg kick. Murphy with a superwoman punch and that actually stumbles Shevchenko, though it seemed like she was more off-balance than anything.
Jab lands for Shevchenko. Now a hard kick. Jumping switch kick for Shevchenko. Stepping jab. One-two and then a calf kick.
Front kick upstairs from Shevchenko only just whiffs in front of her opponent’s face.
Hard right hook from Shevchenko wobbles Murphy and then a kick as she ducks down lands too. Murphy showing her toughness to stay upright, but Shevchenko continues to land and then opts to bring her to the mat.
Curious choice as Shevchenko was close to the finish there, and now she’s taking her time in half-guard which gives Murphy time to regain her bearings.
However, Shevchenko does eventually posture up and starts bombing down rapid-fire elbows and punches and that soon foreces the ref to wave off the fight, handing the champion a dominant TKO Victory at 4.00mins of the fourth round.