Several controversial angles emerged from Valentina Shevchenko‘s grossly one-sided beatdown of Octagon newcomer Priscila Cachoeira in the co-main event of last Saturday night’s (Feb. 3, 2018) UFC Belem in Brazil, a fight where ‘Bullet’ out-landed her overmatched opponent by a gaping margin of 230-3.

The first and most prevalent talking point was the unwillingness of disgraced referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the fight, which could have easily happened at several junctures as Cachoeira continued to eat huge ground damage without attempting to escape a dominated position. When she finally did tap out from a rear-naked choke, it appeared she had to do so more than once for Yamasaki to stop the fight.

UFC president Dana White quickly called out the highly-criticized referee, but there was also the fact that he and the UFC booked Cachoeira, who had eight MMA bouts going into UFC Belem, in her debut against a former bantamweight title contender who has only lost to current champion Amanda Nunes her entire career. It’s a fair question to ponder.

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Finally, there was the issue of Cachoeira’s corner perhaps throwing in the towel, something we almost never see in a toughness-focused sport like MMA. It was never an option, either, as Cachoeira posted on her own Instagram account (translated via MMA Junkie) that she would fight Shevchenko again her coaches know her limits and would never quit for her:

“I will fight any fighter in the world, regardless of her standings. I’d fight Valentina another 10 times without even thinking twice. Those who pick easy battles aren’t true warriors. And the treatment and the intimacy I have with my master… Those on the outside don’t know anything to criticize it. This isn’t master and student. It’s father and daughter. And no one can say how he’s supposed to treat me. As for throwing the towel: This is (team) PRVT, and we’re the ones who know my limits. Throwing the towel, never.”

Her toughness is certainly to be admired, and she’ll get another shot in the still-developing UFC women’s flyweight division after White gave her his respect while flaming Yamasaki.

However, it seemed a perfect storm of factors working against her in her UFC debut Saturday, as the ref, match-making, and corner discussion were all magnified by the fact that she also tore her ACL and meniscus early in the fight, requiring surgery and a lengthy recovery before she can return.

Shevchenko will most likely move on to a title shot versus the also-injured flyweight champ Nicco Montano, but the question will also remain if she should have been fed such an inexperienced fighter who had never competed in the UFC prior to facing arguably the most dominant woman in a new weight class.

What was your take on the scenario?