There was a moment during the third round when Valentina Shevchenko cracked Liz Carmouche with a one-two combination, dropping the "Girlrilla" to the mat. For the few seconds that followed, Shevchenko stared down at Carmouche.
In a way, the scene served as a brief moment that Shevchenko wasn't smothering Carmouche. "Bullet" ground Carmouche out and thoroughly dominated her way to a unanimous decision victory in the main event of UFC Uruguay at the Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay on Saturday night. Judges scored it 50-45 across the board, as Shevchenko retained her UFC women's flyweight title and exacted revenge over a 2010 loss to Carmouche.
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Everything was clicking for Shevchenko on Saturday night, as she seemingly achieved control at will following knockdowns and takedowns, smothering Carmouche with constant pressure.
With the win, Shevchenko (18-3) joins Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Cris Cyborg as the only women in the promotion's history with at least three victories in UFC title fights.
Following the win, Shevchenko opened the door for a trilogy fight against Nunes. With Cyborg's departure from the UFC dashing the hope for a rematch with Nunes, Shevchenko just might get her wish.
Co-main event: Vicente Luque gets split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over Mike Perry in bloody war; welterweights
Luque unleashed a flying knee to rearrange Perry's face in one of the most gruesome broken noses that you'll ever see.
The hideous injury put an exclamation point on what was an all-action war between the welterweights that ended in a split decision in favor of Luque, who had blood and bruises on his own face due to the fireworks exchanged.
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri def. Humberto Bandenay by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); featherweights
Making his UFC debut in his native Uruguay, Garagorri effectively used his striking, especially his left hook that landed at will, to come up with the unanimous decision to remain undefeated to the thrill of the crowd.
Volkan Oezdemir blasts Ilir Latifi with second-round KO; light heavyweights
Oezdemir dropped Latifi with a devastating knee in the second round, before peppering him with stinging punches. The veteran’s free-flowing offense paved the way for him to wind up with a crunching left hook that dropped a spent Latifi, before he knocked him out with a short left uppercut. Impressive, emphatic win, as Oezdemir snaps his three-fight skid.
Enrique Barzola edges Bobby Moffett by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Barzola wisely went for takedowns at the end of each round. Those moments represented the few times the fight went to the ground in a frenetically-paced 15 minutes, which were largely played out on the feet, with Barzola landing the more stinging shots. Barzola got in close to land plenty of punches in the second round, negating the high kicks that Moffett used so well in the first. The Peruvian fighter then closed out the third round slightly stronger in the firework-filled, closely-contested fight to start the main card.
Gilbert Burns def. Alexey Kunchenko by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28); welterweight
Ciryl Gane def. Raphael Pessoa via first-round submission (arm-triangle choke); heavyweight
Marina Rodriguez def. Tecia Torres by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26); strawweight
Rogerio Bontorin def. Raulian Paiva via first-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage due to cut on Paiva’s face); flyweight
Chris Gutierrez def. Geraldo de Freitas Jr. by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28); bantamweight
Alex da Silva Coelho def. Rodrigo Vargas by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); lightweights
Veronica Macedo def. Polyana Viana by first-round submission (armbar); flyweights