Shevchenko beats Maia in grueling title defense at UFC 255
Valentina Shevchenko's dominant reign continued Saturday night.
Shevchenko beat Jennifer Maia via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) in the co-main event of UFC 255 to retain her women's flyweight title at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The champion used her wrestling more than usual in her fourth title defense, taking down Maia several times throughout the five-round contest. She had to battle through some adversity in the second round, with Maia controlling Shevchenko in the clinch and on the ground. But after that frame, it was largely one-way traffic for "Bullet."
Shevchenko dictated the pace of the fight - especially in the final two rounds - and her striking was crisper than the challenger's.
Maia landed some shots on the feet, as well, but Shevchenko was more active and scored with more ferocity. She took down Maia midway through the fourth and did a good job of controlling her opponent and landing ground-and-pound.
The 125-pound queen opened up in the stand-up department the most in the fifth round, attempting spinning strikes and devastating kicks.
With the victory, Shevchenko extended her winning streak to six. She remains unbeaten in the flyweight division.
Maia entered her first UFC title fight following an upset win over Joanne Calderwood. The Brazilian drops to 1-2 in her past three outings.
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