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UFC 255 results, highlights: Valentina Shevchenko retains the lightweight title with a decision over Jennifer Maya

Entering the UFC 255 competition as the average favorite to bet -2000, the only surprise of the defense of the champion of Valentina Shevchenko in the lightweight category was the perseverance and endurance of Jennifer Maya.

Shevchenko (20-3) made the fourth defense of his 125kg title on Saturday, never really falling into danger. But she was challenging enough in the grappling game, and sometimes in the Maia race, to increase her stock with a unanimous loss of decision (49-46 on the three scorecards) at the UFC Apex facility.

Maya (18-7-1) apparently won the second round, winning the permanent clinch and eventually overthrowing Shevchenko. Her surprise success seems to have sparked a spirit of urgency within the dominant champion, as Shevchenko has been much more aggressive on his feet in the last three rounds.

Shevchenko began landing his heavy left center of will against Maya, although the 32-year-old Brazilian never fell and mixed in her own counter-shots. However, the damage accumulated when Maya ended the battle with a swollen face and a bloody nose.

“I am happy that he passed five rounds,”

; Shevchenko said. “After a long dismissal, I had to feel the spirit of the battle in the Octagon. [Maia] he knows I’m healthy now and 100 percent injured. I’m glad it was Jennifer Maya first, because she was a business and she pushed me. I knew Jennifer would be a tough opponent. I watched her and knew her body type. She never gave up and I knew it would be a good belt fight. “

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Shevchenko, who spent most of 2020 recovering from MCL surgery on her knee, joined her older brother Antonina tonight, recording UFC history as the first sisters to fight on the same card. In the end, both proved to be winners to start, as Antonina knocked out Ariana Lipski in the second round of the undercard.

“Antonina had such an incredible victory today,” Shevchenko said. “Everything was so perfect, no mistakes or anything like that. I think she deserves the performance of the night.”

The 32-year-old Shevchenko continued to assert her status as one of the best fighters for pounds in pounds, regardless of gender, with the victory. The Kyrgyz-born showed the full package during the battle, regularly taking down Maya and demonstrating her astonishing leg accuracy.

“I knew that [Maia] it would be difficult, “Shevchenko said.” I watched her previous battle and knew she would need something safe or very, very super heavy to fall. ”

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