UFC Fight Night: Valentina Shevchenko retains over Liz Carmouche

Eric Marcotte reviews Saturday's UFC card in Uruguay featuring Valentina Shevchenko retaining the women's flyweight title over Liz Carmouche.

UFC Uruguay: Shevchenko vs Carmouche 2 Report

Submitted by: Eric Marcotte

On Saturday night the UFC held their first card in Uruguay, at the Antel Arena in Montevideo. The headlining bout featured Valentina Shevchenko attempting to make her second defense of the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship against Liz Carmouche. Carmouche holds a 2010 stoppage victory over Shevchenko. In the co-main event, two of the welterweight divisions most exciting fighters, Vicente Luque and Mike Perry faced off in what was expected to be a violent affair.

Commentary for the night was provided by Brendan Fitzgerald and UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping. Performance bonuses were awarded to Volkan Oezdemir and Veronica Macedo. Fight of the Night bonuses went to Vincente Luque and Mike Perry. The reported attendance for the event was 9,225.

QUICK RESULTS:

*Veronica Macedo def. Polyana Viana by Armbar at 1:09 of Round 1

*Alex De Silva def. Rodrigo Vargas by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Chris Gutierrez def. Geraldo de Freitas by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30)

*Rogerio Bontorin def. Raulian Paiva by TKO at 2:56 of Round 1

*Marina Rodriguez def. Tecia Torres by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

*Ciryl Gane def. Raphael Pessoa by Arm Triangle at 4:12 of Round 1

*Gilbert Burns def. Alexy Kunchenko by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

*Enrique Barzola def Bobby Moffett by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)

*Rodolfo Vieira def. Oskar Piechota by Arm Triangle at 4:26 of Round 2

*Volkan Oezdemir def. Ilir Latifi by KO at 4:31 of Round 2

*Luiz Garagorri def. Humberto Bandenay by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Vincente Luque def. Mike Perry by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

*Valentina Shevchenko def. Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision (50-45 all) to retain the UFC flyweight championship

VERONICA MACEDO (5-3-1, 125.5) VS POLYANA VIANA (10-3, 126) – FLYWEIGHT

After trading kicks to the body, Viana quickly snatched a body lock and took Macedo down, but Macedo quickly managed to lock in an armbar from the bottom position and finished the fight.

WINNER: Veronica Macedo by armbar at 1:09 of Round 1

The narrative going into this fight was that Viana would likely have the advantage on the ground, and by submitting Viana in just over a minute, Macedo picked up a great win and broke her 3-fight losing streak.

RODRIGO VARGAS (10-2, 156) VS ALEX DE SILVA (20-2, 155.5) – LIGHTWEIGHT

De Silva took Vargas down within ten seconds and worked his way to the back of Vargas, looking to free the arms of De Silva and lock in a choke. They spent almost the entirety of the first round in this position, but Vargas managed to eventually work his way out and landed some strikes to the grounded De Silva before the end of the round. Into the second, they spent the first minute of the round on the feet, both throwing heavy strikes before Vargas shot for a takedown which De Silva easily worked to his advantage, establishing dominant top position once again, which he kept for the remainder of the round. The third round was more of the same, and I thought this fight was a clear 30-27 for De Silva.

WINNER: Alex De Silva by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

This was not the most entertaining fight, but it was an undoubtedly dominant performance from De Silva who had complete control of the fight every time it went to the ground. This was the first decision win of De Silva’s career, as well as his first win in the UFC.

GERALDO DE FREITAS (12-4, 135) VS CHRIS GUTIERREZ (13-3-1, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT

The first round was very close, with de Freitas advancing while Gutierrez circled and worked his low kicks in early. De Freitas managed to take Gutierrez down with about twenty seconds to go, which likely sealed the round in his favor. In the second round, the low kicks of Gutierrez came into effect, briefly grounding de Freitas twice early in the round. After the second one de Freitas worked to bring the fight back to the ground, succeeding, although he soon gave up the top position to Gutierrez. De Freitas came out swinging in the third round, but Gutierrez went right back to the low kick that put De Freitas down. As the men reached a stalemate with de Freitas on the ground, the referee brought in the Doctor to check on a cut that had opened up on Gutierrez’s head as a result of an inadvertent headbutt. Almost every time Gutierrez landed a low kick in this round, de Freitas went down. With a minute to go in the round de Freitas turned on the pressure throwing big looping strikes at Gutierrez, and both men were bloody messes by the end of the fight. I scored this fight 29-28 Gutierrez.

WINNER: Chris Gutierrez by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30)

This was a very close fight, but I thought the damage done by the low kicks of Gutierrez to the legs of de Freitas gave him the edge in the last two rounds. Gutierrez improved to 2-1 in the UFC with this win.

ROGERIO BONTORIN (15-1, 1 NC, 125.5) VS RAULIAN PAIVA (18-2, 125.5) – FLYWEIGHT

Paiva landed a beautifully timed left hook early that momentarily stunned Bontorin and cut him open, and Bontorin immediately succeeded upon a takedown attempt and the fight was paused by the referee who brought in the Doctor to check the cut of Bontorin. The fight was resumed on the feet until the referee picked up on his mistake and restarted them once more on the ground. Nonetheless the fight returned to the feet quickly and Bontorin was extremely aggressive, landing a huge knee, a left hook, and an elbow, before once more taking the fight to the ground. The fight was halted by the referee once more, this time to check on a cut on the face of Paiva. This cut was huge, and the doctor almost immediately stopped the fight.

WINNER: Rogerio Bontorin by TKO at 2:56 of Round 1

This was wild. I cannot recall the last time both fighters had to be checked on by the doctor within the first three minutes of the fight. The cut sustained by Paiva was one of the most disgusting cuts I have ever seen in the sport, and the doctor made the right call in stopping the fight there. Bontorin is now 2-0 in the UFC and is a flyweight to look out for in the future.

TECIA TORRES (10-4, 155) VS MARINA RODRIGUEZ (11-0-1, 155.5) – STRAWWEIGHT

Both women were sound defensively in the first, moving out of the way of big strikes and utilized a lot of feints. Torres was the aggressor for the majority of the round, but Rodriguez looked to be landing strikes more effectively. Rodriguez stuffed both of Torres’s takedown attempted. They fought in the clinch near the end of the round and Rodriguez landed a clean knee, and Torres responded with a number of strikes in return. The second round was very similar to the first with the biggest exchanges occurring in the clinch once more, with the knees of Rodriguez against the uppercuts and hooks of Torres. Rodriguez landed a perfectly executed combination of strikes on Torres early in the third round, mixing in right hands with a kick to the body. ESPN had some difficulties with their stream at this time and, at least on the TSN broadcast, cut to commercial halfway through the round. The broadcast resumed with a bit less than two minutes to go in the round and Rodriguez had Torres on the ground, and as Torres worked her way back up, Rodriguez landed a solid knee to the body, and ended the round throwing a series of hard right elbows Torres’s way.

WINNER: Marina Rodriguez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

I felt Rodriguez won this fight and looked very impressive here against a mainstay of the strawweight division in Tecia Torres. Rodriguez maintained her undefeated record here and moves to 2-0-1 in the UFC. Torres is now on a 4-fight losing streak.

CIRYL GANE (3-0, 241.5) VS RAPHAEL PESSOA (9-0, 261) – HEAVYWEIGHT

The commentators repeatedly noted that Gane is a training partner of Francis Ngannou.

Pessoa swung hard and missed often in the opening minutes of the first. Gane was very passive, content to wait for the counter strike he was looking for. Pessoa landed a nice trip against the cage but Gane landed on top and submitted Pessoa with an arm triangle within seconds.

WINNER: Ciryl Gane by Arm Triangle at 4:12 of Round 1

Much like the first fight of the night, we had the striker submit the decorated jiujitsu fighter within the first round. Heavyweight is typically short on prospects, so Gane did well to make a solid impression with the audience by submitting Pessoa as easily as he did.

GILBERT BURNS (15-3, 171) VS ALEXY KUNCHENKO (20-0, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT

Burns briefly grounded Kunchenko with an early low kick. Both fighters landed about 4 kicks to the leg within the first minute, before Burns shot for a successful takedown, bringing Kunchenko to the ground with his back against the cage. They spent the rest of the round in this position, briefly drawing boos from the displeased audience. Kunchenko increased his output in the second round, moving forward and landing combinations of punches to the head and body. Burns continued to work the left leg of Kunchenko, and there was clear damage done to that limb by the midway point of the second round. Burns shot for a takedown once more and controlled Kunchenko in the center of the octagon for the last two minutes of the round. In the third round, Kunchenko landed a kick to Burn’s leg that dropped him, and he was slowly returning to his feet. Burns shot for a huge desperation takedown attempt that once again succeeded and ate time away from the clock that Kunchenko desperately needed. Burns grinded Kunchenko against the cage and ate some hard elbows. The referee eventually separated them and Kunchenko landed a few more strikes to the exhausted Burns as time expired. I scored this fight 29-28 for Gilbert Burns.

WINNER: Gilbert Burns by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

Huge boos from the audience as the decision was announced. I thought Burns fought very well against a tough opponent on just two weeks notice. Burns is now on a 3-fight win streak since his loss to Dan Hooker at UFC 226. Kunchenko was improving as the fight went along, but started too tentative and did not have a response to the wrestling of Burns.

ENRIQUE BARZOLA (16-4-1, 145) VS BOBBY MOFFETT (14-4, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT

The first round was very close, with both fighters throwing quickly and often, but neither man landing that big strike or moment of control that swayed the momentum of the round in their favor. Barzola moved forward for the majority of the round and ended with a successful takedown, although Moffett got back to his feet before the end of the round. In the second round, Barzola started to land clean at a higher rate with his left hook and uppercuts. Moffett found his rhythm late in the round, moving forward with a smile on his face and landing heavy strikes at Barzola moved against the cage. Barzola ended the round with a takedown yet again. Both fighters were tired in the third round, but Barzola seemed to have more in the gas tank, often charging forward with barrages of hooks, but the rate of strikes landed remained very close between the two fighters in the final round. Barzola ended the fight with a takedown one final time. This was a very close fight, but I thought Barzola was landing heavier punches and pressuring forward more throughout the fight and scored it 29-28 in his favor.

WINNER: Enrique Barzola by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)

This was an extremely close fight and the statistics were almost identical. I thought both men had their moments throughout the fight, and both men gave a good account of their abilities. Barzola is now 6-2 in the UFC.

RODOLFO VIEIRA (5-0, 185.5) VS OSKAR PIECHOTA (11-1, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT

The fight started tentatively with Vieira landing a power jab, but otherwise, there were no significant strikes landed. Eventually, Vieira began hunting for the takedown and brought Piechota to the matt against the cage. He landed heavy strikes on the ground but was never particularly close to ending the fight. Piechota connected with an up-kick which allowed him to get up, and a series of elbows when Vieira tried to take him back to the ground at the end of the round. Piechota started to land more, early in the second as Vieira began the round slowly. Vieira soon shot for another takedown, but this time Piechota managed to get back to his feet soon thereafter. They wrestled in the clinch against the cage until Vieira grabbed the single leg and brought Piechota back to the ground. Vieira worked his way into the top mount and transitioned into an arm triangle not long after and Piechota tapped out with 34 seconds remaining in the round.

WINNER: Rodolfo Vieira by Arm Triangle at 4:26 of Round 1

Vieira is clearly very talented on the ground, taking his time and working into dominant positions to inflict damaging ground and pound or opportunities for submission attempts. He appeared to tire quickly after the first round and may have to work on his cardio before he can be favored against the next level of competition.

VOLKAN OEZDEMIR (15-4, 205.5) VS ILIR LATIFI (15-6, 1 NC, 204.5) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

This fight had been scheduled twice in 2019 but was canceled both times due to a Latifi injury and Oezdemir visa issues respectively.

High stakes here as both fighters were in need of a win to stay relevant in the light heavyweight division. Latifi lifted Oezdemir up and flipped him back down to the ground early in the first but Oezdemir worked his way back to the feet. Latifi landed a left hand, and Volkan landed a pair of knees right to the face of Latifi as he worked his way into the clinch. This was a very good round for Oezdemir. Latifi connected with a clean right hand in the second, that Oezdemir just ate and continued to apply pressure. Oezdemir connected with that same knee he landed multiple times in the first that dropped Latifi and swarmed him with strikes as Latifi recovered. Latifi survived the onslaught of Oezdemir but was clearly exhausted with a minute left in the round. Volkan landed a pair of left hands that floored Latifi and knocked him unconscious.

WINNER: Volkan Oezdemir by KO at 4:31 of Round 2

This was a dominant performance by Oezdemir, who completely outclassed Latifi on the feet. This might have been the best he has looked in the UFC. Oezdemir was riding a 3-fight losing streak going into this fight and needed a statement win to get him back on track at 205. In his post-fight interview, Volkan called out Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes.

LUIZ GARAGORRI (12-0, 145.5) VS HUMBERTO BANDENAY (14-6, 1 NC, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Big reaction from the crowd for Garagorri, the only fighter on the card from Uruguay. Bandenay timed a double leg well and pressed Garagorri into a seated positioned against the cage, which Garagorri powered out of and completed a takedown of his own before returning to the feet. Garagorri went with a right hand to the body and a left hook to the head that hurt Bandenay and cut him open, but Bandenay stifled the momentum by briefly taking Garagorri to the ground. Garagorri lit Bandenay up with elbows against the cage. Round 1 likely went to Garagorri.

In the second round, Bandenay landed some clean heavy strikes in a wild exchange that cut Garagorri open beside the right eye. Bandenay was having a much better round on the feet in the second. Garagorri began to work the body of Bandenay, mixing in heavy hooks to the head and kicks to the leg. Bandenay ended the round with a successful takedown. This was a very good round, where Bandenay may have had the most significant moments, but Garagorri had notably higher output.

Bandenay scored another takedown early in the third round, and Garagorri once again worked his way up and they engaged in the clinch against the cage. The men ended the round trading once again. I scored this fight 30-27 in Garagorri’s favor, but I thought it was much closer than the commentary team did.

WINNER: Luiz Garagorri by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

There was no question who the fans came to see here. The atmosphere for this fight was loud and intense, and it was a great fight. Garagorri looked good here and is an undefeated prospect to watch out for at featherweight.

VICENTE LUQUE (23-6-1, 171) VS MIKE PERRY (13-4, 170.5) – WELTERWEIGHT

Perry started off hot, throwing powerful hands and head kicks that Luque was able to block for the most part. Luque fought more patiently but was landing comfortably with his jab and occasional knees. Luque cut Perry open under the right eye. Perry went on the attack late in the round, forcing Luque to cover up and defend, but was not in serious danger of being finished here. Both men were eating heavy shots to the face in the second round, yet neither stumbled. Perry was really finding his rhythm every time he started moving forward and throwing his vicious hands with no abandon. Luque had his moments in the round as well, as his right hook was finding its target more often than not, further opening the cut on Perry’s right eye. The third round was slower than the previous two, but the biggest moment of the fight came when Luque landed a flying knee that just destroyed Mike Perry’s nose. Perry attempted to turn this in his favor with a takedown, but found himself in a guillotine from Luque, who squeezed an immense amount of blood out of Perry’s head, yet Perry survived this sequence and the fight went to the judges. This was a very competitive fight and I scored it 29-28 Perry.

WINNER: Vincente Luque by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

This was a great fight, and Mike Perry’s nose looked disfigured by the end of the fight. The fight was very close, and even in loss Perry looked like an improved fighter. Luque is now on a six-fight win streak and should be looking at a ranked fighter next. Luque called out Stephen Thompson.

VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (17-3, 124.5) VS LIZ CARMOUCHE (13-6, 125) – UFC WOMENS FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

This is a rematch from their 2010 fight in which Carmouche won by a second-round doctors’ stoppage. The champion, Shevchenko, is 3-0 in the UFC at flyweight. Carmouche is 2-1 in the division. Carmouche was a massive underdog heading into this fight.

The first round was slow, with Shevchenko landing at a higher rate then Carmouche, and likely won a very uneventful round. Neither fighter sustained any notable damage here.

Carmouche started with a pair of leg kicks in the second, and Shevchenko responded with a kick to the body. Shevchenko easily stuffed a takedown attempt from Carmouche. The crowd had quickly grown restless at the lack of action. Both fighters were hesitant to commit to anything. Shevchenko landed a spinning back fist followed by a couple of quick strikes towards the end of the round. I had it 20-18 Shevchenko heading into the third round.

The crowd continued to voice their displeasure in the third. They exchanged heavy low kicks. Shevchenko landed a combination of strikes that put Carmouche down, although Carmouche appeared to be a bit off balance going into that exchange. Shevchenko utilized a body lock to take Carmouche down to the ground. They spent the remainder of the round in this position and I had Shevchenko up 30-27 going into the championship rounds.

Shevchenko landed a beautiful superman punch, two punch, leg kick combo early in the fourth, before taking Carmouche down once more. Shevchenko made no progress in Carmouche’s guard and referee Keith Peterson stood them up. As Carmouche shot in, Shevchenko landed a spinning back fist and took side control on the ground as time expired. 40-36 Shevchenko.

Carmouche went for a single leg that Shevchenko stuffed well, and transitioned into Carmouche’s guard once more. They spent the majority of the round here and I scored this as a very clear 50-45 for Shevchenko.

WINNER: Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision (50-45 all) to retain the UFC Flyweight Championship

This was not the most entertaining fight but was another one-sided win from Valentina Shevchenko. She is excellent in all areas of the sport, and Carmouche had absolutely nothing for her. Katlyn Chookagian could potentially be next in line at 125, but that may not be the most interesting fight on paper. A third fight with Amanda Nunes is another possibility, but at 125, Shevchenko seems to be on another level.