Casey O’Neill says Antonina Shevchenko win ‘was a big improvement from my last fights,’ didn’t expect to get ranked

Casey O'Neill
Image Credit: UFC

Casey O’Neill knew she would be able to finish Antonina Shevchenko in their UFC Vegas 38 fight.

O’Neill was 2-0 in the UFC with two finishes but early on, Shevchenko had success. She had O’Neill in a troubling spot but the 24-year-old was able to get out of it and then take over the round. In the second round, she dominated it and eventually got the stoppage win.

“That is what I planned for, I definitely plan to finish my fights. I saw myself finishing her with ground and pound from the top,” O’Neill said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “The slow start I think was because of the big year as this was my third UFC fight and in the past 13 months, I’ve had five fights so it was quite a lot. I was feeling the effects of that, so I think that’s why I started slow this time. It’s okay because I wasn’t worried about any of those positions as I get in them a lot with much stronger guys in the gym. I knew I was able to get out of it, it just looked bad to the judges. It’s still okay because I still won the first round and came back and finished it in the second.”

When O’Neill was landing heavy ground and pound, “King” looked at the ref a few times which many thought was her getting the ref to stop it. However, she says that was more of her being annoyed with the ref who in the first round, told O’Neill she had to move just seconds into being in a bad position.

“To be honest, I was more annoyed than surprised. I was in my position in the first round for like five seconds before he was like do something,” O’Neill said. “I had hit her with at least five hard elbows and he said nothing. Like really we are just going to let her die? It was kind of annoying, but I understand. The elbows were really hard but the punches were not because I couldn’t get the leverage.”

Although Casey O’Neill did get the second-round stoppage win, she still knows there are improvements she can make. She says the slow start is something she will work on but she is still proud of what she did inside the Octagon.

“I have watched it a couple of times but I cringe at the first round. I literally look like a video game character that doesn’t know their buttons,” O’Neill said. “I’m just following her around the cage. In every fight you make mistakes. But, in every fight you make improvements and that fight was a big improvement from my last fights.”

After the win, O’Neill entered the flyweight rankings at 14. It was a surprise to the 24-year-old but she is happy to have a number beside her name.

“That was awesome, I wasn’t expecting it because Antonina wasn’t ranked. But, three fights with three finishes and the flyweight division being shallow, it was bound to happen,” O’Neill concluded.

Were you impressed with Casey O’Neill’s TKO win over Antonina Shevchenko?

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