Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko: The UFC Fight That Needs to be Made

Amanda Nunes is the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time.  Questioning that statement would be downright silly after everything she has accomplished in her mixed martial arts career.  Since joining the UFC, Nunes has compiled a 12-1 record with the promotion and has realized her dream of becoming not only a UFC Champion, but a champ champ by simultaneously holding the UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight belts.

Nunes went on a three-fight win streak between 2015 and 2016 and received a shot at UFC gold where she was scheduled to face Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in the main event.  Nunes dominated the fight from start to finish by using her thunderous power, clean striking and exceptional range to blast Tate with heavy punches before securing a rear naked choke to become the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

Nunes has gone on since to defend her belt five times which includes dominant knockout victories over Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm.  Her most memorable moment came on December 29, 2018 where she moved up to 145 to challenge Cris Cyborg for the UFC Women’s featherweight.  The bout was widely considered the biggest super fight in women’s mixed martial arts.

In an incredible moment of triumph, Nunes met Cyborg in the middle of ring where both stood their ground and exchanged heavy blows for more than 30 seconds.

Suddenly, Nunes clipped Cyborg which momentarily dropped the bigger champion.  Nunes did not hold back and continued to attack and repeatedly dropped Cyborg with heavy and accurate punches.  It was another well-timed overhand right that eventually sent Cyborg to the canvas and unable to recover in time.  Nunes was crowned a champ champ and cemented her place as the greatest women’s mixed martial artist to ever grace the Octagon.

Nunes has had the most impressive women’s mma career to date but there remains unfinished business for the Brazlian native.  Early in her championship run, Nunes was tasked with defending her belt against current UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko on September 9, 2017.  Shevchenko had recently defeated Holly Holm and Julianna Pena back to back which earned her a title shot and rematch with Nunes.  The bout remains Nunes’s most competitive and difficult title defense to date where both women had key moments in the bout and pushed each other for five straight rounds.  The result was a split decision victory for Nunes.  Out of 22 media outlets, 10 scored the bout for Nunes, 10 for Shevchenko and two a draw.  The results only made one thing clear: a third bout needed to happen.

Since making her debut back in 2015, Shevchenko has compiled an 8-2 record and is currently riding a five-fight win streak.  Here only two losses come by way of Nunes with the most recent being the split decision title bout loss.  After losing to Nunes, Valentina moved down to 125 pounds where she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacant UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship.  She has gone on to defend her belt three times in a span of eight months with her most prolific victory coming at the expense of Jessica Eye via a brutal head kick knockout.  The former K-1 World Champion has looked nothing short of unstoppable in the last several years and utterly cleaned out any form of competition that has been placed in front of her.

With little to no obvious contenders left for either champion, it’s obvious what needs to happen.  A super fight between Nunes and Shevchenko is the fight fans and experts want and need to see.  There is no doubt these are two best women fighters in mixed martial arts today and their highly contested second bout makes it easy to sell a trilogy match.  The only problem will be is what weight they have the fight at but if the UFC is set on making this fight happen, they will reach a compromise that will suit both fighters.  This is the fight that makes sense for the fans and for the fighter themselves.  A super fight between Shevchenko and Nunes will not only be a trilogy bout, but a fight for women’s MMA legacy.

Who would win in a rematch of Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko?

 

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