Holly Holm was stunned on Saturday night at UFC Chicago, judges unanimously giving the win to Shevchenko.
Less than two months ago, Shevchenko was at a chicken restaurant in Lima, Peru, when armed robbers raided it. Her trainer, Pavel Fedotov, was shot during the robbery in the abdomen. He has since recovered and was in Shevchenko’s corner Saturday.
“It was quite a different camp than I had to endure in all my life,” Shevchenko said. “After two days when he (Pavel) was in the hospital he said, you should take this fight and prepare. It does not matter what happened.”
Holm had losing scores of 49-46 from all the judges.
Her stunning knockout of then-champion Ronda Rousey in Australia at UFC 193 catapulted Holm (10-2) into the spotlight of mixed martial arts, but she followed with the back to back losses.
“I know I am capable of more. I think I only have to believe in myself a little more. I understand I can do more, as I said. I didn’t perform well tonight. Valentina is really tough, we understand that,” said Holm.
As Shevchenko promptly got back to her feet after Holm knocked Shevchenko to the mat with a quick hook early in the first round. Shevchenko had a takedown late in the round.
In the third round, after Shevchenko got in a few jabs, Shevchenko caught Holm’s leg on a kick effort and took down her. Shevchenko had another takedown and kept Holm on the mat for the remainder of the round as she landed punches.
“I’ve never in my career, whether it be boxing or MMA ever felt like that I’m at the top because I know there’s somebody else aspiring to be the finest,” Holm said. “Just as I first came into MMA, I need to have titles in both. I had drive in me. I do I’m just going to remain there and believe I made it to the top and so I never look at a division. There’s always somebody starving.”
Shevchenko may get another shot at Nunes, who dismantled Tate for the belt at UFC 200.
Nunes in a tweet insinuated that Shevchenko isn’t ready for a rematch.
“She is undoubtedly frightened. I am prepared for five rounds with her, I will consider whoever is next, but I believe she’s scared,” responded Shevchenko.