UFC flyweight contender Taila Santos believes reigning 125-pound champion Valentina Shevchenko escaped Singapore Indoor Stadium with a gift from the cageside judges, leading to a split decision victory and what appears to be an extended vacation.
Shevchenko, ranked No. 2 in the women's pound-for-pound rankings, was a massive favorite heading into her UFC 275 title defense, but the Brazilian would not go quietly and actually doubled-up the champion in total control time (8:49 to 4:15) across their five-round affair.
“All the girls say Valentina is a monster, but I’ve been saying for a while she has no ground game,” Santos told MMA Fighting. “I showed that there was no reason to fear [her]. I knew she wouldn’t accept a rematch after that fight. I called her out anyway, but I knew she wouldn’t take the risk of losing her belt. She wouldn’t rematch me after I showed she was no big deal. She’s scared.”
The fight was close ... but was it a robbery?
A majority of the media scorecards landed in favor of Shevchenko, who landed more significant and total strikes across their 25-minute contest. Both combatants scored three takedowns each but “Bullet” may have finished stronger in the final two frames.
Read our full recap right here.
“We’ve been asking for fights over and over again — asking for the rematch, really,” Santos said. “Tiago [Okamura, manager] spoke with Mick [Maynard] and the UFC, informed them I was well and training. They even said that Valentina was running. She asked them for fights, but not against me. I’m training and waiting, but it’s been hard to get a fight. I wanted the rematch, but Valentina didn’t agree to it. Based on her social media, she’s just traveling.”
Shevchenko has yet to respond.