On Saturday,Valentina Shevchenko will defend her flyweight title against Jessica Eye at UFC 238 in Chicago.
UFC 238 will mark Shevchenko’s first title defense since defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231 in December 2018. The bout between Shevchenko and Jędrzejczyk took place as result of inaugural flyweight champion Nicco Montaño being stripped of the title, after withdrawing from a fight with Shevchenko at UFC 228.
Full report from fight night via Cole Henry:
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Schevchenko for Vacant UFC Flyweight Championship
Favorite: Schevchenko -350
Round 1: Schevchenko scores with a trip takedown early. She is now working from side control. Joanna is up though but Shevchenko is staking on her. Shevchenko is looking for another trip, but Joanna is defending so far. Back in the center and neither fighter has been able to connect with anything of note. Shevchenko connects with a big spinning back kick to the body that forced Joanna back a bit. 10-9 Shevchenko
Round 2: Shevchenko opens up with a front kick to the face. Joanna throws a front kick of her own and barely catches Shevchenko with it. Shevchenko fires back a couple of punches in return. Shevchenko is starting to string together some pretty nice combos while Joanna is taking more of a single shot approach right now. Shevchenko lands with a short-left hook. Shevchenko lands a right hook as Joanna was trying to move in. She follows it up with a takedown and Joanna is down. Joanna briefly gets up, but Shevchenko takes her right back down, this time with some force. Shevchenko is in side control and she is landing hard elbows from that position. Shevchenko lands a hard knee as the round ends. 10-9 Shevchenko
Round 3: Shevchenko scores with a spinning back kick to open the round. Joanna just can’t get much going here. Just as I say that she connects with a straight left that stung Shevchenko a bit. Joanna is starting to get her footing it seems, and she is starting to avoid some of Shevchenko’s shots. Shevchenko moves in for a takedown, but Joanna shakes it this time. Joanna lands a hard kick to the body and Shevchenko returns one of her own. Shevchenko lands a hard knee just as the round ends. 10-9 Joanna
Round 4: Joanna is attacking with a higher pace than she has used in previous rounds. She is landing some nice kicks to the body. Shevchenko moves in for a body lock and secures it. Joanna separates though and they are back in the center. Shevchenko scores with a hip toss and Joanna is down. Shevchenko is working from side control, Joanna recovers half guard and stands up. Shevchenko still has a head lock though and she is looking to take this fight back down to the ground. Lots of work in the clinch here by both fighters but Shevchenko is controlling most of the action. Joanna separates though, and they are back in the center. Joanna scores with a front kick to the body. She certainly appears to be the fresher fighter through four rounds, but Shevchenko is definitely ahead on the score cards. 10-9 Shevchenko
Round 5: Shevchenko is doing most of the work early as she controls Joanna against the fence. She appears to be tired and the ref steps in for a separation. Shevchenko scores again with another spinning back kick but it didn’t have much on it. Joanna appears fresh, but she isn’t showing any urgency and you have to assume she is down several rounds. Joanna lands a kick to the body, but she probably needs more than that. Shevchenko is looking for a takedown, but Joanna is using the fence to keep herself on her feet. They are both throwing as the round ends. 10-9 Shevchenko (49-46 Shevchenko)
Result: Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via Unanimous Decision to become the new UFC Flyweight Champion
Analysis: It was what it was. Shevchenko was the more well-rounded fighter, but Joanna didn’t ever seem to really go for broke even when it was obvious, she would need a finish to earn the win. It’s hard to say where Joanna goes from here and as for Shevchenko well, she finally has her belt.