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Shevchenko submits Peña, earns title shot against Nunes



photo credit: Matthew Stockman

Valentina Shevchenko defeated Julianna Peña at 4:29 of round 2 tonight at UFC on Fox 23 in Denver Co. Known most for her Muay Thai striking skills, it came to many people’s surprise that she was able to finish Peña at her own game.

The first round was mostly contested up against the cage, in the clinch. Shevchenko managed to time Peña’s knees to the body to twice take her down with sweeps. The end of the round ended with Peña getting a reversal and fishing for an arm bar.

In the middle of the second round, Shevchenko landed a takedown. Peña reversed positions and was looking for strikes from side control when Shevchenko rotated her hips and attacked Peña’s arm. Shevchenko went belly down, and as Peña tried to walk around to safety, Shevchenko shifted and locked the submission in further, forcing the tap.

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In her post-fight interview, Shevchenko told Brian Stann – “Every time, I tell people, I’m an MMA fighter and I am a complete fighter.”

While she’s speaking on mic, current women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes came into the cage, a move the UFC rarely sets up, and the two had some words. Clearly indicating that Shevchenko will face Nunes for the second time, this time for the belt.

“I’m going to take that belt.” Shevchenko was heard saying as both fighters jockied for the one microphone. Nunes on the other hand said “I’m going to finish you this time.”

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Shevchenko lost a unanimous decision in March of 2015, in a somewhat lackluster fight. Since then, however, Nunes Knocked out Meisha Tate and Ronda Rousey to earn and defend her title. Shevchenko has also been busy defeating former champion Holly Holm and now Julianna Peña in two consecutive headlining spots.

There is no information yet as to when these two ladies will meet in the octagon yet.

This article comes to you via @GavelPro 

Richmond, VA by way of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A long time combat sports fan, Felix has spent years covering the regional Virginia amateur and pro MMA scene. He now shifts his focus to writing about national MMA.

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