Valentina Shevchenko was supposed to be Holly Holms pathway towards regaining her title back but instead Valentina had this fight as her pathway to the same goal. The 17-time World Muay Thai Champion won by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) as she dominated the striking game against Holms by hitting 82 significant strikes to Holms 54.
— espnW (@espnW) July 24, 2016
Holly Holms shot to fame when on UFC 193 on November 15, 2015 she stopped UFC sensation and undefeated Ronda Rousey. Ronda was said to be the most dangerous fighter in the world without a weapon and very few expected Holly Holms to win let alone finish Ronda in a dominating display of strikes and kicks.
Holms delivered Rousey her first career defeat and the fight was said to be the Upset of the Year for 2015. Holms who is an 18-time Boxing Champion was still unknown until UFC 193 and her rise to fame was expected to keep on rising with the expectations of a series of wins to follow.
Having defeated the undefeated, there was no one expected to challenge Holms in the succeeding fights and her first title defense was against Miesha Tate on UFC 196 whom Ronda defeated twice already. UFC 196 turned out to be another upset once again as Miesha sunked a rear naked choke on Holms in the final round to get the win. Although it was not a dominating performance and Holms could have won on decision, it was still a bitter lost for the champion.
Prior to the fight with Valentina Holms has this sentiment —
I don’t want to, to have my career based around one fight, I don’t wanna live of the moment of winning the belt, and I don’t wanna sulk into the moment of losing the belt, I went into the gym the next week, and was training, and pretty much cried after every training or during training, but i want to get there and deal with it, I was gonna be honest with myself, I don’t want to look at it and say, oh well, you know, you win some, you lose some, no, i don’t want to lose any,
The fight with Valentina Shevchenko is a road she has to take to get a title shot —
this weekend is the film fight, everything is riding on this
As UFC bills Valentina — “Valentina decorated, 17 time world champion muay thai”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 24, 2016
Holly Holms knows this about Valentina —
Valentina is a very good, very good striker , she is, got a lot of knees, elbows, kick, she is also very good on the clinch, very heavy on tough, every fight i feel i can’t lose, there is so much riding on each fight, that i know that i have a really, realy tough opponent in front of me, she is, she is no joke, she looking at the champ now, nunes fight was Shevchenko, i though a longer fight would have gone to Shevchenko, and this is a 5 round fihgt, this is not an easy fight for me, i definitely feel like there is extra on there, she is the one with the belt, i know on Saturday i don’t want anything else, i promise
It was a very tough fight for Holly Holms but Shevchenko wanted it more —
“My strategy was to do everything I know, to put all my heart, all my power, everything I learned in more than 20 years in martial arts, and I did it”
Valentina is now calling out current title holder Amanda Nunes who is the only fighter to defeat here in the Octagon — “Amanda is a good fighter, she has a good standup and ground game, and of course I want a rematch for the title belt,”
Holly Holms knew her hands was full for this fight —
“I knew she was a counterpuncher, we were ready for that; she’s a tough girl, I knew that,” a gracious Holm, now 10-2, said. “I knew I had my hands full with this fight. I knew it was a really big challenge. What can you do? I knew it was a competitive fight. I could have done more, I’m disappointed in myself, and I take nothing away from her. She was very tough.”
In the first round Holly looked to have the fight in control when she landed a right hand on Valentina that produced a knockdown with three minutes remaining, Valentina came back up and scored a takedown with 90 seconds remaining.
This was a good fight as Holm is known to be aggressive on her punches while Valentina didn’t let up and her counter punching technique continued to equalize whatever Holm threw at her.
Holly Holms’ road to the title belt just became Valentina Shevchenko’s road. It would not be a surprise should Valentina be given a title shot against Amanda Nunes who defeated Miesha Tate. The quest for the Bantamweight title got very interesting and Valentina is now in the mix.
Holly Holms vs Valentina Shevchenko Video Highlight
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) July 24, 2016