Holm was undone by Valentina Shevchenko as she failed to bounce back from her title loss
Holly Holm's chances of reclaiming the UFC Women's Bantamweight title took a significant setback last night following a shock defeat to Valentina Shevchenko.
The former title holder was hoping to earn some redemption at UFC Chicago this weekend, after relinquishing her belt to Miesha Tate earlier in the year. But the UFC seventh-ranked Shevchenko, brought a counter strike game that overwhelmed Holm and secured her the win by unanimous decision in the main event of the night.
The opening round was static with both opponents playing a patient game punctuated by two Shevchenko take downs. Holm caught Shevchenko with a clean right hook but it lacked the impact to subdue the Kyrgyzstan native.
And it was Shevchenko who went on to establish a winning rhythm in this fight. By the third round, she was landing counter hooks that were unsettling Holm and she sustained that approach throughout rounds four and five to disarm the American fighter.
All of the judges scored the fight at 49-46 in favour of Schevchenko.
Speaking after the fight, an elated Shevchenko said:
"I was preparing for this fight very hard. I'm very excited for this fight and this victory, it's very important for my career."
Rogan went on to ask Shevchenko about the possibility of securing a rematch with the newly-crowned Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Nunes previously defeated Shevchenko in a closely fought match in which Shevchenko took the third round.
"Amanda is a great fighter, she has good standing and a good ground game. Of course, I want Nunes for a rematch for the title belt."
A dejected Holy Holm conceded that she anticipated Shevchenko's counter attacking style, but said she was disappointed with how she handled it during the fight.
"She's a tough girl and I knew I had my hands full with this fight. When they offered it to me, I didn't want to act like I didn't want it. I know I could have done more and I'm disappointed in myself."