UFC on ESPN+ 14 card in Montevideo, Uruguay, featured a women’s flyweight title fight as dominant champ Valentina ‘The Bullet’ Shevchenko (18-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) took on former bantamweight￼ title challenger Liz Carmouche (13-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC).
Shevchenko was coming off a brutal head kick knockout victory over veteran Jessica Eye in her last fight just two months ago in June. The fans therefore expected the same this time around as well. However, that was not the case as challenger and heavy underdog Carmouche showed great strategy and was able to go full 25 minutes.
The fight however was showered with boos as the duo combined for 60 significant strikes landed, the third fewest in a modern-era UFC title fight that went all five rounds. Shevchenko however didn’t let the boos deviate her from her game plan.
“They still have fresh memories of my knockout two months ago (over Jessica Eye at UFC 238) and wanted to see another,” Shevchenko said. “Inside the Octagon sometimes you do a knockout, sometimes you don’t. If fans started watching fights more carefully they would see very beautiful technique, timing, and speed. That’s in all martial arts. It’s not all about crazy exchanges where you can be hit. It’s about much more.”
To their defense, Shevchenko being an elite Muay Thai practioner, had her game based on counter striking but Carmouche didn’t lead the dance as she wanted to tire Shevchenko first before using her grappling credentials. More or less then fight ticked all the boxes on the technical side of things.