Valentina Shevchenko is just in a different class to everybody else at flyweight now. Is she the most technically proficient female MMA fighter ever? You could definitely make a strong case for that statement. After beating Kaitlyn Chookagian in the co-main event of UFC 247, what’s next for the champion?
The Krygyzstan native is one of the most complete fighters we’ve ever seen. A phenomenal kickboxer, she’s also got a superb ground game as we saw tonight in Houston, Texas. All of her opponents talk about how she’s never fought anybody like them. Let’s just laugh at that.
It doesn’t matter what you bring to the table, Shevchenko always has an answer. Check out the highlights below as ‘Bullet’ put a hole in Chookagian’s title dream. Is this her most complete UFC performance yet?
Target acquired. 🎯@BulletValentina #UFC247 pic.twitter.com/srep1sqqMf
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020
Chookagian came into this fight with a clear height and reach advantage. She also made a big deal out of her high punching volume. That doesn’t make much difference if you can’t get close to Shevchenko. The champion is traditionally a counterstriker and she came back with volume every time Chookagian attacked.
After chopping at the challenger’s leg for the first round she secured a takedown. With only seconds left before the bell, she sliced a vicious gash by Chookagian’s eye. It was a sign of things to come. The champion poured on the pressure in the second round landing kicks to the body and finally, a beautiful spinning back-kick to the head. Chookagian had nothing to offer.
The champ draws first blood early! 🏆@BulletValentina #UFC247 pic.twitter.com/8f53gn3Tm8
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020
Shevchenko secured her third successful title defense in the third round. She went for the takedown and Chookagian had a moment of costly indecision. She went to pull guard but changed her mind. It was too late. Shevchenko secured the crucifix position and from there rained down ground-and-pound. You could argue it was an early stoppage, but Chookagian was going nowhere and the referee stopped her taking unnecessary damage.
After the fight, Joe Rogan asked her what’s next. She’s basically cleared out the division but could there be a trilogy fight with Amanda Nunes? It’s hard to see where she goes from here because she’s just too good for everybody else.
Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) is still your UFC women's flyweight queen, tyrannizing Katlyn Chookagian en route to a third-round TKO in her third title defense. Only Amanda Nunes can test her. #UFC247 pic.twitter.com/Sp0ihFgP99
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) February 9, 2020
In the main event, Jon Jones got a controversial decision win over Dominick Reyes to defend the light-heavyweight title. However, the headlines were all about the dodgy judging and not his performance. Many believe that Reyes won the first three rounds. But this still didn’t stop a judge from scoring the fight 49-46.
Meanwhile, Derrick Lewis went full Hulk and beat Ilir Latifi on the Swede’s heavyweight debut. Latifi had tried to use his wrestling to neutralize Lewis, but the Houston resident surged at the end of the fight to get the decision. Elsewhere, Jason Tafa knocked out Juan Adams while Dan Ige outpointed Mirsad Bekic.
It was definitely an eventful night in Houston. Unfortunately, the card will be remembered as much about the terrible judging as it was for some excellent fights. But that’s the way of MMA.