Former women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko and former strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk squared off for the promotions vacant flyweight title in the co-headliner of tonight’s UFC 231 event in Toronto.
Shevchenko made her UFC flyweight debut this past February, scoring a very lopsided second-round submission win over Priscila Cachoeira.
As for Joanna, the former strawweight champion returns to the cage for the first time since July’s UFC on FOX 30 event in Calgary. That night in “Cowtown”, the Polish superstar earned a unanimous decision victory over the always dangerous Tecia Torres.
Valentina and Joanna are no strangers, having met three times in the past under the Muay Thai rule set. Shevchenko emerged victorious in all three of those aforementioned contests.
Round one of this highly anticipated UFC 231 co-main event begins and Valentina takes the center of the octagon and fires off a low kick. She lands another. Jedrzejczyk attempts to return fire but misses. Joanna paws with her jab. Shevchenko lands a low kick. Joanna replies with one of her own. She comes forward with a jab and the fighters clinch. Valentina Shevchenko immediately scores a takedown and winds up in side control. This is a bad spot for Joanna. Shevchenko has over three minutes to work. Shevchenko goes for a crucifix but Joanna scrambles free and gets back up to her feet. Valentina lands a nice knee to the face of Joanna. Jedrzejczyk eats the strikes and attempts to circle out. Shevchenko closes the distance and presses Joanna up against the cage. She lands a knee. Jedrzejczyk returns fire with one of her own. The ladies continue to trade knees to the body and thigh. Shevchenko lands a big right hand as the fighters break. Joanna appears to be ok. She takes the center of the cage and lands a low kick. Valentina returns fire with a low kick of her own. Joanna attempts to go upstairs with a kick. Valentina blocks it and lands a side kick. Joanna with a kick to the body. Valentina counters with an overhand right. The fighters clinch as the horn sounds to end round one.
First takedown of the bout.
— UFC (@ufc) December 9, 2018
Round two begins and Jedrzejczyk lands a low kick. Valentina fires back with a right hand and then a low kick of her own. Joanna is being very aggressive early here in round two. Still she just can’t seem to find her range. The ladies trade jabs. Valentina lands a nice kick to the body. Joanna goes low with a kick. Shevchenko answers with a nice combination. Again the fighters trade low kicks. Joanna with a jab to the body followed by a front kick that lands. Valentina counters with a straight left. “The Bullet” with a hard kick to the body now. Joanna continues to paw with her jab and then lands a punch to the body of Shevchenko. Valentina with a nice right hand over the top. She catches a Joanna kick and scores a takedown. Joanna gets right back up but is immediately slammed down to the canvas by Valentina Shevchenko. “The Bullet” is working from side control now. She traps an arm and begins to land some short left hands. Joanna is in a bad spot and Shevchenko begins to grind her with elbows. Jedrzejczyk attempts to scramble but cannot get back to her feet. Another scramble and she gets back up only to eat a knee and be taken back down. Round two comes to an end.
Imposing her will.
— UFC (@ufc) December 9, 2018
Round three begins and Valentina lands a nice kick to get things started. Joanna responds with a pair of low kicks but Shevchenko immediately answers with a beautiful spinning back kick. Joanna eats the shot and circles out. She steps back into the pocket but eats a hard low kick for her troubles. Shevchenko catches another kick and looks to score another trip takedown. This time Joanna is able to stay on her feet. Valentina with a kick to the body. The Polish star responds with a right hand. Valentina circles and lands a high kick followed by a left. Joanna replies with a kick to the body. The ladies trade low kicks. Under two minutes remain in round three. Joanna with a nice kick to the body. Valentina shoots in for a takedown but it is not there. She lands a nice knee from the clinch. Joanna breaks free and smiles. A superman punch from Valentina now. She seems very confident at this point. Another knee from Shevchenko. Joanna is hanging in there but is just being outclassed. Shevchenko pushes Joanna up against the cage and lands a pair of hard knees before the horn sounds to end round three.
— UFC (@ufc) December 9, 2018
Round four begins and Shevchenko lands a hard low kick. Joanna pushes forward with a combination. Valentina slips the punch and lands a nice counter. Joanna is definitely throwing more here in round four. She paws with her jab and fires off a low kick. Valentina comes forward and lands a knee. She pushes Joanna against the cage and lands an elbow. Jedrzejczyk continues to be the aggressor in this round. She lands a low kick and then attempts another but Shevchenko catches it and scores another trip takedown. Once again Valentina Shevchenko begins working from side control on the ground. Joanna scrambles and gives up her back. Valentina opts not to take the position and instead grabs a headlock. Jedrzejczyk gets back to her feet but remains pressed against the cage. One minute remains in the fourth round. Joanna reverses the position and then breaks free. Valentina with a low kick that misses. She attempts a spinning back kick but that also misses the mark. Joanna lands a front kick to the body of Shevchenko. She presses forward and both women fire off punches to end round four.
Round five begins and Shevchenko lands a nice right hand. Joanna responds with a punch and then a kick to the body. Jedrzejczyk continues to press the pace for the second round in a row. Valentina charges forward and throws her to the ground. Joanna gets back up to her feet but Shevchenko stays on her and keeps her pressed against he fence. Valentina with an attempted knee that misses. The referee steps in and separates the fighters. Joanna lands a nice right hand. Valentina really seems to have slowed down here. Still, she lands a nice front kick to the body. Shevchenko charges in with a combination. Joanna avoids and lands a low kick. Another nice spinning back kick from Valentina. Two minutes remain in the fifth and final round. Joanna with a low kick. Valentina answers with one of her own. Shevchenko with a nice knee from the pocket. She attempts a superman punch but it falls short. Valentina shoots in and presses Joanna against the cage. Jedrzejczyk breaks free and lands a pair of punches. The fighters clinch and battle against the cage until the horn sounds to end the fight.
Official UFC 231 Result: Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via decision (49-46 x3)