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UFC on FOX 23: Valentino Shevchenko Calls Out Amanda Nunes after Submitting Peña

Valentina Shevchenko gets better every fight. After taking care of business against an aggressive Julianna Peña, she's earned a rematch against Amanda Nunes. And that's exactly what she called for from inside the Octagon.

The year 2016 will go down as a tipping point for the UFC’s women’s division. The bantamweight title changed hands three times after Ronda Rousey held it through six title defenses from December 2012 to November 2015. The fall of Rousey was followed by the rise of Amanda Nunes and the introduction of a female featherweight division.

Hello, 2017!

In the year’s first big match, Valentina Shevchenko (14-2) stopped Julianna Peña (10-2) late in the second round Saturday night at UFC on Fox 23. The Spokane, Washington, born Peña appeared to win the first round with a range of strikes and knees to the body of the Muay-Thai specialist. By the middle of the second, Peña’s game plan of a close range and an aggressive fight was rather one-dimensional, even as she got the position she was looking for in the clinch.

Shevchenko, from the bottom position, flipped Peña into a masterful arm bar and forced a tap-out at the 4:29 mark of the second round. The fighter who trains in Peru and moves her camp before each fight displayed a complete arsenal of weapons in her 14th UFC win.

Reveling in her accomplishment, Shevchenko didn’t hold back. “She’s a good fighter. She’s wild. But I’m a master.” To call the win impressive would be an understatement. The 28-year-old was patient on defense, incredibly efficient, and when it mattered most her ground game was superb.

“Many people asked me about the fight and they said you’re a striker and she’s a grappler, and I told them every time, I am a complete fighter,” Shevchenko said.

Shevchenko’s victory likely sets up a rematch with the 135-pound champion, Nunes, for the UFC bantamweight title. Nunes beat the Kyrgyzstan-born fighter by unanimous decision last March at UFC 196. The defeat to Nunes was only the second loss in the mixed martial arts career of Shevchenko.

The Champ Took Notice

Nunes sat cage side, bursting to her feet in reaction to the No.1 challenger’s tactical submission.

Within minutes the 13,000-plus fans in attendance at the Pepsi Center in Denver were witness to what will be the first pre-fight meeting of the two.

“I’m pretty sure the next fight will be title shot and I’m very excited to take the rematch and take this belt,” Shevchenko said to Nunes. The “Lioness” was having none of it though. “I’m the champion because I say I’m the champion, and I will prove I know how to beat you. I will do it.”



In case there was any doubt that Shevchenko has skills, she left the ring after dropping some serious dancing skills on the crowd.

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The Sportsnista

Hello, folks! I'm “The Sportsnista”, a woman who is a fan as much as a student of many sports. I’m a mom, a writer, and a fool for free samples. Born and raised in a small town in upstate New York where I had chickens, hogs and a backyard garden, I grew up watching and listening to games on the radio. I’m a New Yorker, so yes, I’m a Yankee fan who also happens to bleed Carolina blue.

I try to keep posts high on smarts and low on snark. Sometimes, I meet the bar I set for myself, and sometimes I just don’t. After all, life isn’t practice, it’s the greatest game of all.

UFC on FOX 23: Valentino Shevchenko Calls Out Amanda Nunes after Submitting Peña

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