Valentina Shevchenko Retains Title With Dominant Win At UFC 266UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko’s reign of dominance continued with her latest successful title defence tonight at UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs Ortega” in Las Vegas, Nevada. The champ scored a fourth-round stoppage of “Lucky” Lauren Murphy in the co-main event.

Tonight’s card featured two additional women’s flyweight bouts. Former 115-pound titleholder Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade stopped Cynthia Calvillo late in the first round of their main card fight, and rising star Taila Santos outpointed 44-fight veteran Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi.


Shevchenko (23-3-0) was a step or two ahead of Murphy (15-5-0) in the striking exchanges throughout tonight’s co-headliner. She mixed up her strikes with one-two combos and leg kicks, and Murphy’s left eye was already swollen by the end of the opening round. Murphy struggled to find her range in round two and Shevchenko’s quickness allowed her to land more kicks and combinations that led to a takedown. Shevchenko spent the remainder of the round in top position and scored with elbows to Murphy’s face in the final seconds.

The third round was relatively uneventful, but once again featured Shevchenko outlanding Murphy on the feet. She took Murphy’s back in a late clinch against the cage, but time ran out before she could do anything with the position. In round four, Shevchenko attacked with kicks to Murphy’s leg, body and face. She staggered Murphy with a right hook and a head kick, then swarmed with more punches. Murphy fell to the ground and Shevchenko continued to strike from the top. A final salvo of elbows and punches was enough for referee Keith Peterson to wave off the fight at the 4:00 mark of round four.

With tonight’s victory, Shevchenko has now won eight straight fights since she was narrowly defeated by two-division UFC champion Amanda “Lioness” Nunes in their UFC 215 rematch. A potential trilogy bout between Shevchenko and Nunes has recently been discussed, provided that Nunes is successful in her December title defence.


Andrade (22-9-0) rebounded from her April loss to Shevchenko by stopping Calvillo (9-3-1) in the first bout on the main card. Andrade put Calvillo on the defensive early in the fight and landed combinations of hooks and leg kicks while Calvillo jabbed and circled from side to side. Andrade backed Calvillo up with a series of lead left hooks and she countered a side kick from Calvillo with more left hands in the final minute. Andrade battered Calvillo with looping hooks and Calvillo covered up against the cage. Andrade continued to unload with punches and the bout was stopped at the 4:54 mark of round one.

On the preliminary card, Santos (18-1-0) scored one of the biggest victories of her career by defeating Modafferi (25-19-0) in their matchup. Santos scored two takedowns in the opening round, and she cut Modafferi along the hairline with a right hook that led to two more takedowns in the second stanza. The most damaging strikes of the fight were landed by Santos in round three, who dropped Modafferi with two power hooks and then followed up with more strikes on the ground. Modafferi recovered and got back to her feet, but Santos hip tossed her to the mat and finished the fight on top. Scores were 30-27 across the board for Santos, who has won three straight fights.



(Photo Credit: UFC)