A new women’s flyweight champion was crowned in the UFC 231 co-main event. Valentina Shevchenko dominated Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the bulk of five rounds to earn the unanimous decision.
The flyweights came out exchanging leg kicks as they began to feel out one another. Shevchenko quickly got a trip to plant JJ on her back. JJ worked her way back to her feet but was still stuck in the clinch. Back in open space, Shevchenko belted the midsection of JJ with a spinning back kick, which might have been the most significant strike of the round.
JJ came out pressing forward, but Shevchenko was timing her coming in. Shevchenko was content to counter as JJ tried to find a way to get close enough to land something. Shevchenko caught a kick and slammed JJ down to the mat with about 90 seconds remaining in the round, where several elbows scored. The second JJ stood back up, she was kneed in the face and taken right back down.
Shevchenko continued to look strong in the third act, as JJ just couldn’t seem to do anything. She wasn’t able to land her hands, and was getting her kick caught when she threw it. JJ was able to fend off some takedowns from Shevchenko, but ate some knees to the face instead.
Shevchenko was able to catch the kick of her opponent in the fourth round, which she used to secure another takedown. JJ managed to scramble back up to her feet, but was still caught in the clinch. JJ did start to pick up the pace towards the end of the round, throwing more volume than before.
JJ came out for the fifth round looking rather fresh, but the Shevchenko continued to be the more physical fighter. Shevchenko grabbed ahold of JJ, stifling her up against the cage. After the ref broke the flyweights apart, the athletes went back and forth exchanging combination for combination. They went at it, slugging it out for the closing moments.