Number one women’s bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko has risen to the top of the leaderboard after making her UFC debut at UFC on Fox 17 as she defeated Sarah Kaufman via split decision. Though she suffered a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27) loss to current champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 196 she bounced back with two major victories over former champion Holly Holm and Julianna Pena that has now given her the next crack at the belt.
With Shevchenko now scheduled to face Amanda Nunes sometime this year one must wonder if she has now improved enough to avenge her first UFC loss and claim gold with the possibility of setting up for a trilogy fight the women’s division has been seeking to bring to the fans.
The first time around Shevchenko looked slow in the first two rounds causing her to lose both, but in the third, she picked up the pace and began to put a beating on Nunes making it seem at times if she would actually come from behind and get the victory finish. But unfortunately it wasn’t enough, but due to the fact that she did not have much time to train for the fight as it was announced on such short notice had some believing if she was given more time to prepare for the bout the results could have been much different.
Now that she will have a few months to prepare for the rematch it looks like she could very well pull it off.
But we cannot forget just how dominant of a fighter Nunes is with her aggressive striking power and deadly grappling techniques that were shown in their first fight and many other fights, especially her last two victories over former champions Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey.
With that in mind, it now looks to be a repeat of their first encounter as Nunes has shown great improvement from their first fight that could prove to be too much for Shevchenko to handle.
But at the same time, Shevchenko has shown massive improvements in her style of striking and grappling to challenge Nunes more and possibly place her reign as champion in jeopardy.
From examining what both of these amazing female athletes bring and have improved upon the fight looks hard to call and as they train hard for this upcoming fight we will only see them grow more to the point this fight turn into a war that will be remembered throughout the world.