Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight contender Valentina Shevchenko collided with newcomer Priscila Cachoeira last night (Feb. 3, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 125 inside Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil.
Shevchenko quickly established herself as a top contender at Bantamweight and nearly captured the title, but she didn’t do enough to convince the judges to award her the strap. Luckily, the 125-pound division opened up not long after that defeat, allowing Shevchenko to join her more natural weight class. Cachoeira was something of an unknown quality ahead of this match up, but there was some promise. An inspiring story and knockout power is a solid start for any up-and-comer, but it would take a miracle for the young Brazilian to upset her veteran foe.
She didn’t get it.
Shevchenko came out sharp immediately, sticking her opponent with a hard jab. A left hand connected seconds later and wobbled her opponent, and “Bullet” flurried towards her opponent. Cachoeira hung tough and fired back, causing Shevchenko to move into the clinch and land a clean inside trip.
From within the guard, Shevchenko split her opponent open with a nasty series of elbows almost immediately. Over and over, Shevchenko gained strong posture and dropped brutal elbows. Cachoeira never stopped trying to defend herself, but she did a terrible job of controlling an overhook or stopping Shevchenko’s onslaught.
By the time the round finished, Cachoeira was a bloody mess.
Shevchenko landed a pair of counter jabs before tossing her foe to the mat in the first 15 seconds. This time, she advanced passed the guard and moved into a crucifix, whacking away at her bloody foe. Shevchenko nearly secured the referee stoppage numerous times, but Cachoeira scrambled just enough to escape at pivotal moments.
From her back, Cachoeira showed very little experience. She did not know how to recover guard, which allowed Shevchenko to advance into whatever position she wanted and drop strikes all the while. Eventually, she landed in the mount and pounded away, convincing her foe to give up the back and the rear naked choke.
Your imminent Flyweight queen, ladies and gentleman.
This match up never should have been made. From quite literally the first exchange, Shevchenko made it remarkably clear that Cachoeira was nowhere near her level. After landing just about every strike she threw on the feet, Shevchenko took things to the mat and dominated just as easily.
Shevchenko landed 217 strikes to her opponent’s one.
Shevchenko did pretty much everything she wanted to, and the fight only lasted as long as it did because of her foe’s toughness and the referee/doctor/corner’s incompetence. Hurry up and award Shevchenko her title shot; it’s ridiculous to pretend that any 125 lbs. woman is better than her until one manages to defeat “Bullet.”
I don’t want to shit on Cachoeira too badly. The fight was abuse enough on its own, and she was hopelessly mismatched against an excellent fighter. At the same time, Cachoeira showed very little skill in any area of the game. On her feet, she was throwing wide, winging punches, which is the precise opposite of what you want to do opposite an accomplished striker. On the mat, Cachoeira made a lot of basic mistakes, seeming unsure of how to control posture or recover guard.
It’s possible — even likely — that Cachoeira will better showcase her skills opposite a more reasonable opponent. Until then, though, it’s not really clear what Cachoeira brings to the table besides some punching power.
Last night, Valentina Shevchenko utterly dominated her opponent to a second-round stoppage. Is Shevchenko a future champion?
For complete UFC Fight Night 125: “Machida vs. Anders” results and play-by-play, click HERE!