UFC 275: Valentina Shevchenko defeated Taila Santos.
Valentina Shevchenko defeated Taila Santos via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) at UFC 275 on Saturday, June 11, 2022, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.
“No yes, every time you step out of the cage you find something you can do to improve. I did everything I could I left my heart in the Octagon… I want to keep going. I want to improve. I want to keep fighting, bantamweight or flyweight,” said Shevchenko
“I’m still young, I can’t complain about decisions but this is not the last time that you are going to see me fight for a belt. She was as tough as I expected but I’m still young, and I’m ready for the next one. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really see out of my right eye. I saw two Valentinas and just tried to hit the one in the middle,” said Santos through the help of a translator.
Shevchenko vs. Santos: Round-by-round recap
Shevchenko immediately went to the middle of the Octagon while Santos operated on the outside. Santos landed the best shot in the opening minute but Shevchenko looked poised, confident, and unbothered by it. Santos charged forward but missed with her strikes, allowing Shevchenko to wrap her up in the clinch against the fence. Shevchenko landed a couple of knees, controlling the position and getting a double under hook. Referee Jason Herzog warned both women about inactivity. Santos broke the clinch and took down Shevchenko, who appeared to slip. Santos transitioned to the back and went for a rear-naked choke. Shevchenko broke the initial choke hold. Santos covered Shevchenko’s mouth and then went for another choke but Shevchenko broke the choke. Santos had a body triangle but Shevchenko landed several strong punches.
Shevchenko came out of her corner aggressively, landing a combination. The two women engaged in the clinch with Santos backing Shevchenko up against the cage. Santos landed a couple of short knees and then took down Shevchenko again. Despite being on the bottom, Shevchenko landed a few nice shots from the bottom before attempting a submission that Santos was able to escape. After warning both fighters, the referee stood the women up. Shevchenko landed a kick and then landed a takedown. Santos was able to transition and get back on top of Shevchenko but could not take advantage of her position.
The third round briefly paused as Santos forgot to put her mouthguard in. Shevchenko landed a couple of quick shots and a nice overhand right. Shevchenko took down Santos but in seconds, Santos stood up. Santos again backed up Shevchenko against the fence in the clinch and took down Shevchenko again. Santos was able to take the back of Shevchenko and get underneath the chin with a rear-naked choke. Shevchenko was able to break the initial choke but Santos went back to it. Again, Shevchenko broke the hold and Santos went back to it.
Shevchenko opened with a leg kick and a left hook. Santos fired back but Shevchenko countered and landed a body kick. A clash of heads opened up a cut on Santos’ head and left her with significant swelling around her eye. Shevchenko landed a power kick. Santos accidentally landed a low blow, which briefly stopped the fight. Shevchenko continued to come forward and landed a left hand and a leg kick. Shevchenko landed a body kick and another left hand. With her vision compromised, Shevchenko was very aggressive coming forward and landing a combination of kicks and punches. Santos landed several leg kicks but was allowing Shevchenko to back her up. Shevchenko split the defense and landed a straight left hand. Santos dipped under and landed another takedown with 14 seconds remaining in the round.
Santos opened with a leg kick. Shevchenko responded with a combination. Shevchenko charged in with another combination but Santos was able to take Shevchenko down again. Santos was able to take the back but Shevchenko was able to roll out of it and back to her feet. Shevchenko landed another two-punch combo. Shevchenko landed a double leg takedown. The women both struggled for positioning with Shevchenko on top. Shevchenko landed an elbow, a shoulder, and several strikes to the ribs. Santos did not have much urgency to get back to her feet. The round ended with Shevchenko in control.
Shevchenko sets the record for most UFC title defenses by a woman.
Shevchenko made history at UFC 275, setting the record for the most successful UFC title defenses by a woman, surpassing Ronda Rousey who set the record at seven. Following her eighth title defense, Shevchenko has cleared out most of the flyweight division. Shevchenko extended her winning streak to nine fights. Shevchenko has not lost a fight since UFC 215 when she was defeated by Amanda Nunes by split decision for the women’s bantamweight title on Sept. 9, 2017.
After losing her UFC debut to Mara Romero Borella by split decision, Santos won four straight fights to earn a title fight. Santos earned a performance of the night bonus in her last fight when she submitted Joanne Wood with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their fight. Despite losing, Santos could get an immediate rematch.