Nunes Retains Title, Vieira & Moras Win Big At UFC 215 In EdmontonUFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda “Lioness” Nunes retained her title with a narrow Split Decision victory tonight at UFC 215: “Nunes vs Shevchenko 2” in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Nunes edged out rival Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko in their five-round main event rematch.

In other bantamweight action earlier on tonight’s preliminary card, Ketlen “Fenômeno” Vieira earned the biggest victory of her career by submitting former UFC title challenger Sara McMann, and Canadian standout Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras returned with a big win over Ashlee Evans-Smith.


Nunes (15-4-0) and Shevchenko (15-3-0) traded cautious kicks and single punches in the opening round, and Nunes appeared to be the busier fighter. She threw combinations midway through the round and landed some nice body kicks, then pushed Shevchenko to the mat shortly before the bell. Rounds two and three were very close, and Nunes stuck to her strategy of throwing single punches and leg kicks from a distance. Shevchenko darted in and out with combinations, but she struggled at times to find her range. Spinning attacks yielded limited success for Shevchenko, but she did score with knees in the clinch and the fight was still very much up for grabs after 15 minutes.

Shevchenko landed some of her best combinations of the fight in round four, and she continued to score with knees to the body each time that the fighters clinched. Overhand lefts and body kicks landed for Shevchenko before the bell, and the fourth round appeared to belong to the challenger. Nunes reversed a hip-toss throw attempt in round five that allowed her to take Shevchenko’s back, but Shevchenko scrambled back up to her feet. Nunes scored another takedown and she spent the remainder of the fight on top in Shevchenko’s guard.

The razor-thin contest went to the scorecards, with one judge seeing the fight 48-47 for Shevchenko. The remaining two both had it 48-47 for Nunes, who retained her title with the Split Decision victory and extended her winning streak to six.

Winner: Amanda Nunes by Split Decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) after five rounds. She improves to 15-4-0 and remains the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.


Keeping her undefeated record intact, Vieira (9-0-0) rallied back after a tough first round and finished McMann (11-4-0) with her own signature submission in the second stanza.

McMann secured an early takedown in round one and she landed numerous punches and elbows from the top while avoiding Vieira’s armbar attempts. She eventually mounted Vieira and landed more punches until Vieira got her legs in and used them to kick McMann off. Vieira threatened with a late kneebar, but McMann defended until the bell. After a lengthy clinch battle in round two, it was Vieira who scored a crucial takedown and she wasted no time in setting up an arm-triangle choke from the top. McMann tried to hold on, but she was forced to submit at the 4:16 mark of round two.

Vieira has now won three in a row inside the Octagon. The 26-year-old Brazilian made a strong case for a title contender’s bout with tonight’s impressive finish.

Winner: Ketlen Vieira by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 4:16 of round two. She improves to 9-0-0.


Returning from a two-year hiatus due to injuries and insufficient funding for training camps, an emotional Moras (5-2-0) secured a huge win in front of her home country tonight, as she submitted Evans-Smith (5-3-0) with a vicious armbar in the first round.

Evans-Smith reversed an early lateral drop attempt from Moras and landed on top in side control, where she threw short elbows until Moras scrambled back into full guard. Moras remained very active off of her back, and she worked for armbar after armbar until she was finally able to lock in the hold. Evans-Smith defended well, but Moras tightened her grip and rolled through. She wrenched back on Evans-Smith’s left arm, seemingly dislocating her elbow in the process, and Evans-Smith finally tapped out at the 2:51 mark of round one.

Moras, who dedicated her victory to her father who passed away six years prior, has won two of her three official UFC fights and now takes a big step up in the bantamweight rankings.

Winner: Sarah Moras by Submission (Armbar) at 2:51 of round one. She improves to 5-2-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)