Daniel Cormier believes accidental clash of heads saved Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275: “I thought Santos won the fight”

Daniel Cormier, UFC, Commentary
Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier believes the accidental clash of heads saved Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275.

It was Valentina Shevchenko (23-3 MMA) vs Taila Santos (19-2 MMA) in the women’s flyweight co-main event last Saturday, June 11th at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. The outcome was a split decision victory for Shevchenko, sealing the deal on her status as the UFC women’s flyweight champion. It was to be her seventh consecutive title defense –  setting the record for a female UFC fighter.

Taila Santos, Valentina Shevchenko, UFC 275

Daniel Cormier, who served as a UFC 275 cageside commentator, during a post-fight interview spoke out about the deciding factor in Shevchenko’s win saying:

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“(It was a) accidental clash of heads that ultimately, to me, really did determine how this fight was going to play out. There is no reason for me to believe that anything was going to be different because every round Santos was able to do the same thing – get the takedown. … But in Round 4 and Round 5, Valentina showed her championship mettle. She showed that desire to retain that belt because she went forward, she threw caution to the wind, and she really did put it on Taila Santos.”

Daniel Cormier continued, expressing his belief that it was Santos who won the fight, saying (h/t MMAJunkie):

“I thought (Santos) won the fight. I think there’s value in those submission attempts. I understand it wasn’t under the neck, I understand that Valentina wasn’t squirming and fighting for her life, but every time Taila Santos put herself in position to chase those submissions there’s got to be some value in that.”

The judges did indeed score a close 48-47, 47-48 and 49-46 in the victory for Shevchenko, which could ultimately lend itself for the two fighters to meet up again in the Octagon. 

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Speaking of a rematch between the two, Daniel Cormier finished with:

“Here’s the problem for Taila Santos: I don’t believe that, in a rematch, she fights Valentina as close because I believe Valentina will make adjustments. That (fight) was a bit of a surprise to a champion like Valentina Shevchenko.”

It was revealed post fight that Santos’ right eye closed during the latter part of the match-up and she in fact suffered a broken orbital bone which will require surgery.

Were you watching the two flyweights battle it out in the Octagon? Are you in agreement with Cormier that Santos won the fight?

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