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Main » UFC 213: Romero vs. Whittaker: Ending the Streak

UFC 213: Romero vs. Whittaker: Ending the Streak

09 July 2017

Romero has looked mightily impressive in his previous fights - the win over Chris Weidman was as devastating as you will see and many believe the Cuban is a potential UFC middleweight champion - but standing in his way is a tough and equally talented Aussie.

For this title shot, Shevchenko began her training in Thailand before moving to Houston and on to Denver, where she worked with strawweight title contender Rose Namajunas.

There she stood in the center of the Octagon, her waist wrapped in gold, only slightly less faceless than she was when she first entered. "The Lioness" instantly returned the favor, landing in Shevchenko's half-guard.

After winning the first two rounds, Nunes tired and nearly allowed Shevchenko to steal a late win.

The third round revealed Shevchenko's significant cardio advantage. Though the Brazilian ultimately returned to her feet, Shevchenko was visibly more effective with her striking, claiming her only round. Her Judo experience makes her wily in the clinch and she's shown great balance, scrambling and takedown defence against strong grapplers like Sarah McMann, Cat Zingano and in her successful title shot against Miesha Tate a year ago. I feel like I can do this longer if I work hard. Tony Ferguson being the most notorious high-profile bout called off due to illness associated with weight cutting, and now the hyped rematch between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko could unfortunately be added to the list. The striking defense for Tate and Rousey could only be described as poor. It was billed and received as one of the biggest fights of the year, surpassing the elusive million-pay-per-view buys mark to cap what was one of the most successful years in company history.

Then there is the relationship between Nunes' appearance and her marketability.

Injuries that have hampered world number one Andy Murray in 2017
As the defending champion, Murray is due to open the 2017 Championships at Wimbledon with a match on Centre Court on Monday. Even if he's healthy enough to play at Wimbledon, his lack of preparation on grass prior to the event is a concern.

Nunes is the only person not named Ronda Rousey to successfully defend the bantamweight belt.

"I'm the kind of fighter that has to keep improving even now that I'm champion", she said. From the staredown until the knockout finish, Nunes' confidence and composure never wavered.

Nunes then spoiled the storybook ending with a brutal 48-second pummeling to knock out Rousey for the second straight time and solidify her grip on the title.

A highly regarded Muay Thai striker, Shevchenko has now dedicated her time fully to MMA.

That means securing her legacy in the sport.

Shevchenko missed out on that fame and wealth, but pushed forward with persuasive wins over former champ Holly Holm and Julianna Pena to earn the rematch - and this one will be five rounds.