Tonight’s UFC 266 event is co-headlined by a women’s flyweight title fight featuring Valentina Shevchenko taking on challenger Lauren Murphy.
Shevchenko (22-3 MMA) has gone a perfect 7-0 since returning to flyweight, including five-straight title defenses. In her most recent effort at UFC 261, ‘The Bullet’ scored a dominant TKO victory over Jessica Andrade.
Meanwhile, Lauren Murphy (15-5 MMA) will enter tonight’s co-headliner sporting a five-fight winning streak. ‘Lucky’ most recently competed at June’s UFC 263 event, where she scored a split-decision victory over Joanne Calderwood.
Round one of tonight’s UFC 266 co-main event begins and Valentina Shevchenko gets things started with a low kick. She lands another as Lauren Murphy attempts to come forward. Another hard low kick followed by a right hand from ‘The Bullet’. Murphy attempts to clinch but Shevchenko slams her with a right hand that forces the break. Valentina with a straight punch to the body of the challenger. She follows that up with a low kick. Another beautiful combination lands for the champion. Valentina Shevchenko really is in a class of her own at flyweight. She smashes the lead leg of Murphy with another powerful kick. A big right hook scores for flyweight queen. Lauren Murphy appears to be having problems with her left eye. It appears to be closing up. Shevchenko with a spinning elbow and then a hard kick. Round one comes to an end.
Round two of the UFC 266 co-main event begins and Lauren Murphy looks to force the clinch early. She does and presses Valentina Shevchenko against the fence. ‘Lucky’ lands a knee but then ‘The Bullet’ quickly breaks free and gets off of the cage. Shevchenko with a beautiful combination. She lands a spinning back kick and then shoots in and scores a takedown. The champion begins working from half guard. She looks to soften Murphy up with body shots. Valentina switches to elbows before the horn sounds to end round two.
Round three of the UFC 266 co-headliner begins and Valentina Shevchenko gets to work with some heavy kicks. She switches to punches and lands a hard right hand. A knee to the body now from ‘The Bullet’. She follows that up with a three-strike combination. She is just putting on a masterclass here. Lauren Murphy is showcasing her toughness but she’s likely landed all of a dozen strikes (if that) at this point in the fight. Valentina Shevchenko lands a hard kick to the body and presses the challenger up against the cage. The horn sounds to end round three.
Round four of the UFC 266 co-main event begins and Valentina Shevchenko is quickly back to work with strikes. Lauren Murphy appears to land a punch that drops ‘The Bullet’, but replay shows it was a slip. Shevchenko with a front kick to the body. She goes upstairs and just misses the jaw of Murphy. ‘Lucky’ leaps in with a right hand. Valentina replies with a three-strike combination ending in a low kick. She follows that up with a big punch and then a high kick. Murphy is hurt. The champion follows her opponent to the ground and begins unloading ground and pound. Huge elbows now. This one is all over!
Official UFC 266 Result: Valentina Shevchenko def. Lauren Murphy via TKO (elbows) in Round 4
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