Valentina Shevchenko left UFC 215 with disappointment on her face after a back and forth battle against women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes ended in a split decision loss.
It was a tactical fight between the two top ranked fighters with Nunes serving as the aggressor for the bulk of five rounds with Shevchenko using her counter striking to chop away at the champion throughout 25-minutes.
The end result was Nunes edging out the victory as she picks up her second win over Shevchenko, who was clearly dejected by the scoring offered by the judges in the fight.
“I’m frustrated with the decision because I don’t agree totally,” Shevchenko said at the post fight press conference. “My opinion if it will be victory, it should be victory like clear. But in this fight, I see more tactical, you can see on her face and on my face who landed more punches. I had on my shin stitches because I hit her. I totally disagree [with the decision].”
“It’s difficult to say right now but totally I won this fight.”
While she’s obviously upset about the result, Shevchenko promises she’s more than willing to admit defeat when it’s clear that she’s lost a fight. That’s not the case in this fight, however, as Shevchenko believes she did more damage and landed the cleaner shots against Nunes in their rematch on Saturday night.
“I agree if it’s totally right. If you lost, you lost. But if you not lost and the decision go to the other side, this is when you feel it’s not right,” Shevchenko said. “It’s totally not right. Once again, I respect decisions of the judges but I think it was my fight.
“I think three of five rounds, I won exactly.”
It’s never easy for a fighter to earn a third opportunity to face an opponent after two past losses, but Shevchenko is determined to get back into the cage with Nunes again in the future.
Following a heartbreaking loss in the first fight where Shevchenko poured on the punishment late but couldn’t get a finish after losing the first two rounds, she felt victory was in her hands at UFC 215 only to have it snatched away again by split decision.
Shevchenko can’t say for certain if she’ll be next or have to work her way back up the ladder again but her end goal is to face Nunes at least one more time in the future.
“I want my title and I’m ready to take one more fight against Amanda because I don’t agree and I know exactly that it was my fight. If I have to fight her next, it will be my victory,” Shevchenko added.
“I know exactly that she feels that she didn’t win this fight. She didn’t do this.”