UFC 215: Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2 main card results

215 nunes

It was close and competitive for 25 minutes, but as the UFC 215 main event between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko ended with a Nunes victory by five-round split decision at Rogers Place in Edmonton, it’s clear that with a trio of consecutive victories over Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Shevchenko that the Brazilian may be settling in for a long reign at the top.

Scores were 48-47 twice and 47-48 for Nunes, who successfully defended her 135-pound crown for the second time as she repeated her 2016 victory over Shevchenko, which she earned by a close three-round decision.

The two traded kicks in the early going, neither surging into the lead. But as the round progressed, it was the champion who began to take an edge as she stayed busy while keeping Shevchenko on the end of her strikes. Shevchenko’s patience began paying off late in the round as she started to land counters, but Nunes was calm under pressure when the frame ended.

The war of nerves continued in round two, but Shevchenko got busier as Nunes’ work rate dropped slightly, allowing “Bullet” to pull even on the cards heading into the third.

Neither fighter was able to pull ahead significantly in the third, a testament to the evenly matched nature of the bout, and while Nunes marched forward, Shevchenko fired back counters, leaving the scoring of the round down to what the judges put more stock in.

The Bahia native looked charged up entering the fourth round for the first time in her career, and she came out fast to start the frame, continuing to work behind kicks to the leg and quick punches upstairs. Shevchenko continued to get her shots in, but she wasn’t busy enough to get Nunes’ attention for any length of time. Midway through the stanza, Shevchenko scored with a nice combination at long range, and she started putting her strikes together effectively as Nunes slowed down.

With the bout possibly up for grabs, both fighters kicked off the final round with a heated exchange which, not surprisingly, was an even one. From there, it was clear that both wanted to finish strong, with Shevchenko being aggressive in her attempt to take the title and Nunes picking her shots and even trying for a takedown in order to keep the belt. With under two minutes left, Shevchenko tried to turn a Nunes takedown into a throw, but Nunes ended up on her back on the mat. Shevchenko got back to her feet, but it was Nunes going all-in for another takedown, and she got it with less than a minute remaining. Shevchenko fired off strikes from her back, but Nunes wouldn’t give up the top position, and that’s where she would remain until the horn sounded to end the fight.

With the win, Nunes improves to 15-4; Shevchenko falls to 14-3. The rematch was originally scheduled for UFC 213 on July 8, but was postponed when Nunes withdrew from the bout due to sinusitis.

215 Dos Anjos

DOS ANJOS vs MAGNY

The second UFC fight at welterweight for former 155-pound world champion Rafael Dos Anjos was even more impressive than the first, as he submitted fellow contender Neil Magny in less than four minutes in the UFC 215 co-main event at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

“I’m coming for that belt,” said Dos Anjos, who debuted in the division in June with a decision victory over Tarec Saffiedine.

Dos Anjos eliminated Magny’s sizeable height advantage in a hurry as he put the Coloradan on the deck and began working his ground game. Completely in control, Dos Anjos never gave Magny a chance to breathe, and soon, he locked in an arm triangle choke that forced Magny to tap out at 3:43 of the first round.

With the win, the No. 10-ranked Dos Anjos moves to 27-9; the No. 6-ranked Magny falls to 19-7.

215 Cejudo

CEJUDO vs REIS

“The Messenger” sent a message Sunday, as Henry Cejudo capped off a career-best effort with a second round stoppage of Wilson Reis in a clash of top five flyweight contenders.

Coming out in a wide stance, Cejudo’s strikes were fast, sharp and on target from the start, and Reis was having trouble dealing with his standup attack, even though he was fighting back and getting some shots of his own thing. Midway through the round, a knee opened up a takedown for Cejudo, but Reis was able to get upright quickly. That was no issue for Cejudo, who kept having success with his striking, jarring Reis momentarily with a kick and then scoring a flash knockdown moments later before finishing off the round with a takedown.

Cejudo kept it coming in round two, and a fast and flush right hand put Reis on the deck. A follow-up barrage of strikes ended matters, with referee Jerin Valel calling a stop to the fight 25 seconds into round two.

With the win, the No. 2-ranked Cejudo ups his record to 11-2. The No. 5-ranked Reis falls to 22-8.

215 Latifi

LATIFI vs PEDRO

Returning Ilir Latifi put in a workmanlike effort for 15 minutes against Australia’s Tyson Pedro in their clash of light heavyweight contenders, winning a hard-fought unanimous decision in his first fight since September 2016.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 30-27.

Latifi got a takedown in the second minute, showing off his world-class wrestling attack. Pedro was able to scramble his way back to his feet and the two traded hard shots, the Aussie getting the better of the exchange. Pedro almost landed a head kick that would have surely ended the fight, but Latifi ducked under and got another takedown, Again, Latifi tried to work from the north-south position, but Pedro exploded back to his feet once more. Latifi kept the pressure on, though, pushing Pedro past the 4:10 mark for the first time in his career.

After battling back and forth early in round two, Latifi scored a takedown with a little over two minutes left, and the Malmo product scored with some hard punches while Pedro was pinned against the fence. Pedro made it back to his feet with Latifi still locked on to him, and even though he got some elbows in, it was a solid round for “The Sledgehammer.”

Pedro’s strikes began finding their mark more in the final round, and the cut around Latifi’s left eye was getting worse. Latifi’s counters were landing well in response, and midway through the frame, the Sweden native got a key takedown, and soon his ground strikes had marked Pedro’s face up, capping off a solid victory for the No. 10-ranked Latifi, who improves to 14-5 with 1 NC. The No. 13-ranked Pedro falls to 6-1.

215 Stephens

STEPHENS vs MELENDEZ

Veteran featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens issued a painful welcome to Gilbert Melendez in the former lightweight title challenger’s UFC debut at 145 pounds, winning a clear-cut three-round unanimous decision in the main card opener.

Looking comfortable in his return to the featherweight class, Melendez employed a stick and move strategy early on, but Stephens was able to slow him down with thudding kicks to the leg that raised a nasty knot on his leg and forced him to the canvas. Melendez rose immediately though, and he went on the attack in a quest to get back at the Iowan. Yet another kick to the leg with under 30 seconds put Melendez down, and while he was able to make it out of the round, he was in serious trouble.

Before the start of the second frame, referee Jerin Velel asked the Octagonside physician to check Melendez’ leg out, and after being given the green light, “El Nino” did his best to draw Stephens into a brawl in round two. That was just fine with “Lil’ Heathen,” who began letting his bombs go as Melendez stalked. Midway through the round, Stephens attacked the left leg again, dropping Melendez, but the former Strikeforce champ got back to his feet once more. The confidence of Stephens was evident, though, and another knockdown late in the frame secured another round for him.

Refusing to give in, Melendez kept fighting and trying to win in the third round, but Stephens’ attacks didn’t let up, with three more knockdowns scored thanks to his leg kicks. And while Stephens got one of his most impressive wins by scores of 30-26 twice and 30-25, Melendez’ heart was undeniable and worthy of praise as well.

The No. 8-ranked Stephens moves to 26-14 with the win; Melendez falls to 22-7.

Article Source: au.ufc.com By Thomas Gerbasi