At UFC 215, Valentina Shevchenko came up short in a close fought title fight with UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. But, while the judges ended up granting the Brazilian champion the decision. Shevchenko, to put it mildly, disagrees.
The contender took to her social media today to release her first statement since fight night, and with it posted a lengthy explanation as to why she felt the decision should have gone the other way, and why the judges got it wrong that night.
“First of all, I want to thank all those who supported me!” Shevchenko wrote. “The support from my dear friends, media, and fans is very important to me! After 5 rounds fight the judges were divided in opinion, and 2-1 they gave the victory to Nunes (48-47, 47-48, 48-47). I do not think that the fight was lost, 3 rounds out of 5 I definitely won.
“In the middle of the first round, after exchanging of punches, I dislocated a finger on my left hand, so I could not fully realize my advantage from the beginning of the fight. During the break after the first round, my coach Pavel Fedotov put the joint in place, and from the second round I was able to work with both hands.
“And in the last 5th round Nunes made one takedown against one of mine.
“In addition, the new rules say and we were advised before the fight that if you do not do any damage or action when you hold a position (including takedown) then this control does not give an advantage. And Nunes could'[t land no one punch on the ground.
“For the whole fight, I did not get a hit to my face from her.
“If someone else has a doubt in my victory in the 2, 3, 4 rounds, then why what advantage did Nunes win? Leading a passive right only pushing me with “tips to the leg and not landing any punches? While I had to in the same time both counterattack and attack her, because she took in a passive position.
“Some write and say that she held the center of the octagon, as an advantage. Our competitions are not called – to guard the center of the octagon and win. Yes, you can occupy the center of the octagon, but then relieve all the possible attacks. A fighter must and can use the entire perimeter of an octagon according to his tactics and style.
“For example the styled of Mohamed Ali[sic] and Mike Tyson is completely different in how they used they used different parts of the ring. The rule of the center of the octagon is made for the one fighter avoids fight and running out from the fight. Then, yes, the one who is in the center of the octagon has the advantage.
“Running into an open strike exchange against an opponent who is taller, bigger and heavier would be foolish of me. And how bad can end this kind of “runs forward” we have seen in various fight.
“In my fights I put emphasis on technique, tactics and speed.
“We are doing martial arts, it is not the hardest forehead competition to win the victory, and not to win in accidentally striking exchanges. The goal is to strike inflict damage and not receive damage in a response. And this can only be achieve by training your art to the highest level.
“Therefore, after the fight, I have not a single bruise on my face, but all my fists and diners are broken from delivering punches. I am very upset that it happened, especially upset for those fans who worried about me and supported me.
“MMA is a very interesting and diverse sport, anything can happen. Of course, I’m upset, but I’m not going to let this stop me from achieve my goal. I’ll rest a bit and then start training in order to get back in the octagon in the near future.
“Nunes, we will meet again!”
It’s a measured and analytical response. Currently, Nunes owns two wins over Shevchenko, but the Russian looks to be one of the top challenges to the 135-pound throne. In a division that’s not swimming in depth, it’s likely the two could cross paths again sooner than later.