It was another close encounter between the UFC’s premier bantamweight fighters, with challenger Valentina Shevchenko once again falling short to the gritty champion, Amanda Nunes at UFC 215.
UFC 215 took place September 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and saw the UFC women’s bantamweight title match take the headline slot after Ray Borg was forced to pull out of his main event clash with flyweight king Demetrious Johnson with a “lingering injury.”
In front of 16,000 strong, it was Nunes’s ability to control the middle portion of the five round affair which helped her seal the win on two of the judges’ scorecards. However, Shevchenko’s higher output on the feet, which included 104 total strikes landed compared to the champion’s 85, certainly left room for debate.
With her win, Nunes became the first athlete since Ronda Rousey, to successfully defend the women’s crown, with Miesha Tate and Holly Holm both failing in that feat.
is out for vengeance this Saturday night in the UFC 215 main event as she looks to take the title from champion Amanda Nunes in the pair’s second encounter.
Also on the main card, Rafael Dos Anjos made it two welterweight wins from two with his effortless submission victory over Neil Magny which earnt the former lightweight champion a Performance of the Night bonus.
UFC 215 Results
Women’s Bantamweight Title Bout: Amanda Nunes def. Valentina Shevchenko via Decision (split) (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Welterweight Bout: Rafael dos Anjos def. Neil Magny via submission (arm-triangle choke) (Round 1 -3:43)
Flyweight Bout: Henry Cejudo def. Wilson Reis via TKO (Round 2 – 0:25)
Light-Heavyweight Bout: Ilir Latifi def. Tyson Pedro via Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Featherweight Bout: Jeremy Stephens def. Gilbert Melendez via Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
UFC 215 Prelims
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Ketlen Vieira (8-0) def. Sara McMann via submission (arm-triangle choke) (Round 2 – 4:16)
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Sarah Moras def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via submission (armbar) (Round 1 – 2:51)
Featherweight Bout: Rick Glenn def. Gavin Tucker via Decision (unanimous) (30-25, 30-24, 29-27)
Lightweight Bout: Alex White def. Mitch Clarke via TKO (Round 2 – 4:36)
Heavyweight Bout: Arjan Bhullar def. Luis Henrique via Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight Bout: Kajan Johnson def. Adriano Martins via KO (Round 3 – 0:49)
UFC 215 Preview
Shevchenko looks for revenge against champion Nunes at UFC 215
The UFC women’s bantamweight title clash between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Valentina Shevchenko finally goes ahead after being rescheduled from UFC 213. The bout was originally cancelled due to Nunes withdrawing with illness on the day of the fight back in July.
After a previous meeting between the pair at UFC 196 ended in a unanimous decision victory for Nunes, the Brazilian would go on to defeat veteran Miesha Tate for the 135lb strap. Although Nunes dominated the opening stages of their previous bout, Shevchenko would take over as “The Lioness” fatigued and she finished the fight with a clear upper hand as she showed off her vastly superior conditioning. This time, with the fight having the additional championship rounds, “The Bullet” will be hoping for similar results but a different outcome.
Since dominant former champion Ronda Rousey lost the title to Holly Holm, the women’s bantamweight division has been in a transitional state with the championship being passed around between three different holders in 18 months. If Nunes can get the win this weekend, in her second title defence, it could finally bring about a stable champion for the first time since “Rowdy’s” shocking fall from grace.
Can Magny enter welterweight contention with win over resurgent RDA?
Moving up to UFC 215’s co-main event slot, former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos looks to continue with his quest to become champion in a second weight class when he faces Neil Magny in the welterweight division.
The Brazilian enjoyed a successful six-year spell in the 155lb division after joining the UFC back in 2008, peaking when he won the gold from Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 in 2015. What followed was an underwhelming reign with Dos Anjos successfully defending the belt against Donald Cerrone before he was forced to pull out of his highest profile fight to date, a title defense against Conor McGregor, due to injury. With the McGregor money train moving onto Nate Diaz, Dos Anjos was beaten by top contender Eddie Alvarez in a fight which saw the Brazilian look very out of sorts on his way to a first round defeat.
After another poor performance where he was outclassed by Tony Ferguson over five rounds in the main event of UFC Fight Night 98, “RDA” made clear his intention of moving up to his more natural weight class of 170lb in his attempt to become a two-weight champion. The Kings MMA product looked back to his previous best in his first fight at welterweight earlier this year, beating Tarec Saffidiene at UFC Fight Night 111, and has now set his sights on Tyron Woodley’s 170lb crown.
Meanwhile, Magny will attempt to shake his ever-present role as top-10 gatekeeper of the same division with a win over a marquee name like Dos Anjos. The Illinois native is 11-2 in the promotion since the start of 2014, however, is yet to receive a shot at the title after his defeats at the hands of Lorenz Larkin and Demian Maia saw previous winning streaks come to an end at the worst possible time. The No.6 ranked fighter will be hoping a win in Edmonton this weekend will see him finally enter into the elite bracket of the division.