- Valentina Shevchenko returned to the UFC Octagon after an injury-enforced absence and still kicked ass.
- The UFC flyweight champion defended her title Saturday with a five-round decision over Jennifer Maia at the behind-closed-doors UFC 255 show in the UFC Apex, Las Vegas.
- It was the second win on the night for a Shevchenko, as Antonina Shevchenko — Valentina's sister, defeated Ariane Lipski earlier on the card.
- After Valentina's win, she hailed the "woman power" in her family. "We are very strong girls."
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Valentina Shevchenko defended her UFC flyweight title with ease and then hailed "woman power" in her victory speech.
The 32-year-old Muay Thai specialist has been a champion of the 125-pound weight class since she beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2018, and has since gone on a wrecking spree, beating Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, and Katlyn Chookagian.
During Saturday's UFC 255 show, which took place inside the behind-closed-doors UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Shevchenko added another name to her winning ledger as she out-pointed Jennifer Maia.
Her fight against Maia was her first since she injured her medial collateral ligament vs. Chookagian in February, something which required surgery the following month.
Few would have noticed Shevchenko's nine-month absence as the only round the Octagonside judges scored in Maia's favor was the second, when she was out-punched and out-landed but enjoyed a considerable amount of time in control — four minutes and 33 seconds.
In all the other rounds, Shevchenko had done enough to win, regardless of whether that was strike accuracy, takedowns scored, or sheer striking activity in what was otherwise a grapple-heavy victory.
After the 25-minute fight was over, Shevchenko's win was confirmed with three scores of 49-46.
Victory advanced her pro MMA record to 20 wins (six knockouts, seven submissions, and seven decisions) against three losses.
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