UFC 196’s main card began with a women’s bantamweight tilt between Amanda Nunes (12-4) and Valentina Shevchenko (12-2). The “Lioness” got the win, but “Bullet” almost made a comeback.
The two bruisers were tentative in the beginning of the bout. Nunes connected with a leg kick. She went for a high kick, but got off balance momentarily. Nunes landed a kick to the body and took down her opponent with over 30 seconds left in the opening frame. She landed a stiff elbow in full guard. Shevchenko got back up, but was dumped back to the canvas as the round came to a close.
Shevchenko caught a body kick, but wound up on her back again. “Lioness” rained down some punches and elbows to bloody her opponent. “Bullet” tried to return to her feet, but Nunes kept her grounded. Some nasty hammerfists found the mark for the Brazilian. Nunes moved to side control, and then took the back of her opponent. “”Lioness” went for a rear naked choke, but Shevchenko reversed to get to full guard at the end of the second stanza.
Nunes ducked under a punch and went for a takedown, but ate a knee to the body and an elbow. “Bullet” earned a takedown of her own and went to side control. She went for an americana and landed a couple of elbows. “Lioness” pushed her opponent off and the fight resumed standing. “”Bullet” kneed Nunes in the head and connected with some punches in a guillotine position. Shevchenko threw a superman punch to the body. It was clearly “Bullet’s” round, but it appeared to be a case of too little too late.
All three judges scoring the fight at Octagon side gave the bout to Nunes.
Final Result: Amanda Nunes def. Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)