A women’s flyweight title fight featuring reigning champion Valentina Shevchenko taking on top contender Jennifer Maia serves as the co-main event of UFC 255.
Shevchenko (19-3 MMA) has gone a perfect 5-0 since making the drop to the UFC’s flyweight division. During that stretch, ‘The Bullet’ captured the promotions vacant 125-pound strap by defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk and has since gone on to defend the strap on three consecutive occasions.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Maia (18-6-1 MMA) is coming off a submission win over Joanne Calderwood in her most recent effort this past August. The Brazilian has gone 3-2 since joining the UFC ranks in July of 2018.
Round one of the UFC 255 co-main event begins and Valentina Shevchenko starts things off with a low kick. She looks to go high but Maia avoids and throws a combination. Valentina with a nice right hand up the middle. Shevchenko scores a takedown after the ladies clinched up. Working from full guard ‘The Bullet’ begins to work some shots to the body of her Brazilian opponent. Maia is holding onto the champs head to keep her from posturing up. Shevchenko eventually does and unleashed some big punches. Jennifer Maia looks to secure an arm. More shots to the body from Valentina Shevchenko. She is easily controlling Jennifer here in round one. The horn sounds to end the round.
Round two of the UFC 253 co-main event begins and the fighters clinch up quickly. Shevchenko scores a takedown but Jennifer quickly scrambles back to her feet and lands a knee. The ladies clinch along the cage. Jennifer Maia is doing a good job of controlling position here. Valentina lands a nice knee but remains pressed against the cage. Good knees from both ladies here but it is Maia who is in control. She scores a trip takedown and winds up on top of Valentina. The champ desperately tries to get back to her feet but Maia won’t let her. The Brazilian remains on top but Valentina Shevchenko threatens her with a triangle choke attempt. Maia avoids and postures up. The horn sounds to end round two.
"This is extraordinary…"
— UFC (@ufc) November 22, 2020
Round three of the UFC 255 co-headliner begins and Valentina Shevchenko lands a pair of snapping jabs. Maia ducks under a punch and forces the clinch. She presses Valentina up against the cage but ‘The Bullet’ quickly breaks free. Shevchenko with a big body kick and then a right hand. Valentina with a big combination. She picks Maia up and slams her to the canvas. Shevchenko immediately moves to side control but Maia quickly scrambles back to half guard. One minutes remains in the third round. Maia scrambles to her feet and lands a nice knee to the body of the champion. Valentina scores a late throw to earn a takedown before the horn sounds to end round three.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 22, 2020
Round four of the UFC 255 co-main event begins and Valentina Shevchenko lands a big punch to get things started. She comes forward with a combination but Maia slips and avoids. Valentina with a beautiful straight right up the middle. Maia counters with a nice right hook. Another right hand finds a home for Jennifer Maia. Valentina Shevchenko shoots in and easily scores a double leg takedown. The champ begins working from half guard position. She lands some short punches and shoulder strikes. Less than two minutes remain. Herb Dean is warning Shevchenko to work. She does just that and lands a variety of ground and pound. Maia looks to scramble and Valentina takes her back. Another scramble and Shevchenko is now back on top and in half guard. Jennifer Maia appears to be stuck in this position. ‘The Bullet’ begins to work on an arm triangle submission. The horn sounds to end round four.
The fifth and final round of the UFC 255 co-main event begins and Jennifer Maia comes out quickly and forces the clinch. She presses Valentina Shevchenko up against the cage and begins working some knees. ‘The Bullet’ returns fire with knees of her own and then escapes the position. A good right hand from Valentina followed by a low kick. Jennifer Maia returns fire with a right hand. The fighters clinch up and Valentina lands a good knee. Maia presses the champion up against the fence. Valentina quickly breaks free and lands a combination. A big left hand lands for the reigning champ. She spins and misses with a wheel kick. Maia once again forces the clinch but Shevchenko quickly shrugs her off and breaks free. Jennifer Maia with a front kick attempt that falls just short. Both ladies land good left hands from in the pocket. Now right hands. Maia forces the clinch and the horn sounds to end round five.
Official UFC 255 Result: Valentina Shevchenko def. Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision (49-46 x3)
Who would you like to see Valentina Shevchenko fight next following her decision victory over Jennifer Maia this evening in Las Vegas? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com November 21, 2020