Another Bantamweight Upset in Chicago

ufc-fox20The UFC is squarely in a new era of fighting as the entire promotion is stacked full of talent and is proving to be the best promotion in all of MMA.

They have long claimed to be the best but more often than not it was because there was little to no competition in the sport.

When competition came they generally bought the other promotion and claimed the best fighters after shutting the other promotion down.

Now there is legitimate competition and none will be selling their promotion to the UFC as they truly try to compete.

It doesn’t really matter for the UFC though as they have already established themselves as the top promotion and the last few years have proven that to be true.

That is largely because there are new champions in almost every division while some seem to find a new champion every time there is a title fight.

For some, it is not a good thing as superstars have fallen and according to some that is the worst thing that could have happened to the UFC.

Some others see it as a great thing as there is little known about what will happen on any given night.

A dominant champion could lose the belt or a big name could fall to an unknown and that is what makes sport so great.

Yes, they can’t make stars but they shouldn’t have to make stars as the UFC itself is the star with great fights promised in every fight night.

A perfect poster girl for this era in the UFC has been Holly Holm who was on both sides of massive upsets over the past two years.

First, she was the girl who was sent into truly test the only women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, as the toughest test that the superstar had ever had.

She proved that to be true as Holm launched a left head kick that is now immortalised on replays and posters everywhere.

It was the left kick heard round the MMA world as Rousey had been upset and the first superstar had fallen.

When Holm came back to defend her new belt she saw a veteran across the octagon in Miesha Tate who had fought for the belt before but had never come out on top.

Then once again shock flew through the UFC when Tate choked Holm unconscious and took the belt away after only one fight.

Holm had been on both sides of this new UFC as she was both the up and coming star that upset a dominant champion and the champion that was upset.

Holm had not been back in the octagon since losing the belt but she was set to return at UFC on FOX 20 where she would be the main event and look to find her way back to the title.

In the way of that goal was a young fighter looking to make an impression and put her name on the map.

With so much happening even over the last two months opportunities to fight the biggest names do not come easy and for Valentina Shevchenko she was not going to let her chance slip away.

Holm remains one of the biggest names in the sport and a member of the big three in the women’s bantamweight division.

Getting a win against her means that the title race is not too far away and with the patterns forming in the UFC a win against Holm was surely possible.mma-sidebar.fw

It would be a challenge for either fighter though as the fight was sure to be a stand-up battle between two very experienced fighters outside of MMA.

With Holm’s boxing and kickboxing background, she is one of the best strikers in the women’s bantamweight division.

Shevchenko might be the only fighter to challenge that though as the former kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter has had plenty of experience in the stand-up game.

Both were ready to stand and trade in what looked like it could be one of the best fights of the year with the upset-minded Shevchenko trying to get past a former champion.

It was not necessarily the stand-up battle that many were expecting but it was a good fight between two good strikers.

Holm started out great getting the better of the Shevchenko and putting her on the ground with a great straight right.

From that point on though it was all Shevchenko as Holm continued to throw good shots but most were slipped and countered by Shevchenko.

As the fight wore on Shevchenko began to land more shot and was much more active while Holm seemed to fade.

The young up-and-coming fighter took advantage of her opportunity to beat one of the best in the division as she took a unanimous decision victory.

For Holm, it was the second straight loss after running through her MMA career without even one loss.

The loss means that she moves further from the title conversation and will have to go back and re-work things to figure out how to get back on the winning track.

The win for Shevchenko is a big one as her fight against the current champion, Amanda Nunes, was a close one and many would like to see it again this time for the title.

Whether she gets that shot is up to the UFC as she might need one more win against another top contender to prove she belongs but with the division the way it is anything is possible.

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