Taila Santos “Expected More Hardships” In Title Fight With Valentina Shevchenko: “In The End It Was Easier”

Taila Santos, Valentina Shevchenko

Taila Santos was satisfied with her performance in the title fight with Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275.

Reigning UFC women’s flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko seemed invincible going into her most recent outing against Taila Santos, who came in as the biggest underdog ‘Bullet’ had faced in a title match. Shevchenko had been dominant in her run at the top and was expected to handily dispatch Santos just like her previous opponents.

However, Santos turned out to be Shevchenko’s toughest test. The 29-year-old Brazilian appeared to be ahead on the scorecards in the first two rounds before a clash of heads diminished her vision from the right eye. Shevchenko would manage to come out on top in a razor-thin split decision win.

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Taila Santos expected her fight with Valentina Shevchenko to be more difficult

In an interview with Combate, Taila Santos shared her thoughts on the bout. Santos expected Shevchenko to be more difficult but was pleasantly surprised to see how competitive the fight was. Although she didn’t dethrone the dominant champion, she took away the aura of invincibility Shevchenko had prior to the event, and for that, Santos is happy with her performance.

“I was surprised by how easy it was. I was expecting the fight to be much harder in some areas. That’s what I wanted to show, though. That’s she’s not this monster, this unbeatable girl that the other girls were thinking. I respected her, she has had the belt for years now, so I prepared really well. I was ready to solve the puzzle.”

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“I was surprised, because I thought it was going to be hard to take her down.” Santos said. “I thought it would be hard to impose my will, because she’s a really smart girl. In the end, it was easier than I had anticipated. When we went to the fence, I was able to take her down really easily. I was able to take her back and dominate her. That’s what surprised me. I expected more hardships. but in the end it was easier.” (h/t Bloody Elbow).