UFC Fight Night Chicago Holm vs. Shevchenko Recap & Results
Saturday July 23, 2016— Live from the United Center in Chicago the UFC made their return to the windy city with a stacked card headlined by two of the best women’s bantamweights in the world. In the main event #2 ranked and former champion Holly Holm made her return to the octagon for the first time since losing her title to take on #7 ranked Valentina Shevchenko. Both ladies are coming off loses and with a new champion just being crowned any fight in the division is do-or-die. In the co main event the returning El Nino Gilbert Melendez takes on the surging Edson Barboza. Just like the women’s bantamweight division a new champion was just crowned in the lightweight division so a win for either man is a must. Also on the card a strawweight battle between Felice Herrig and Kailin Curran, TUF winner and Blackzilian stand out Kamaru Usman was in action against Alexander Yakovlev, also heavyweight prospect Francis Ngannou took on Bojan Mihajlovic. All the prelims kick off on UFC fight pass before the card switched over to Fox.
LET’S GET THINGS STARTED!!!
The prelims kick off in the heavyweight division as Luis Henrique (8-2) took on Dmitrii Smoliakov (8-0), the big guys kicked things off in a big way and it was Luis Henriques cardio that held up in the end as he sunk in the choke for the finish. Winner: Luis Henrique (9-2) by Rear Naked Choke Round 2. – Looser: Dimitrii Smoliakov (8-1). Next up in the featherweight division Jim Alers (13-2) took on Jason Kinight (16-2), a great back and forth fight that was dead even all the way to the final bell but it was Jason Knight that was able to do enough to get the finish. Winner: Jason Knight (17-2) by Split Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Looser: Jim Alers (13-3). In the featured prelim bout on the UFC fight pass portion of the card the welterweights took center stage as Alex Oliveira (13-3-1) took on James Moontasri (9-3), after going the distance and almost having to stop the fight due to an illegal accidental low blow but Cowboy Oliveira dominated from start to finish, James Moontasri just couldn’t get out of the box and was overwhelmed from the start. Winner: Alex Oliveira (14-3-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-26,30-26,30-25). – Looser: James Moontasri (9-4). The prelims switch to Fox and we roll on in the lightweight division as Michel Prazeres (19-2) took on JC Cottrell (17-3), a beautiful showing from Michel Prazeres as his takedown and ground game overwhelmed Cottrell. Winner: Michel Prazeres (20-2) by Unanimous Decision (30-26,30-27,30-26). – Looser: JC Cottrell (17-4). Next up in the welterweight division TUF winner and Blackzilian fighter Kamaru Usman (7-1) took on Alexander Yakovlev (23-6-1), a beautiful execution from Kamaru Usman as his ground game was perfect and his striking game wasn’t missing from start to finish. Yakovlev just never stood a chance, a tough showing to try to stay in it but the Nigerian Nightmare was just too much. Winner: Kamaru Usman (8-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-25,30-25,30-25). – Looser: Alexander Yakovlev (23-7-1). Next we head back to the featherweight division as #11 Darren Elkins (21-5) took on Godofredo Pepey (13-3), another fight that went the distance as that seems to be the theme tonight another illegal shot that stopped the fight. As for the actual fight a good performance by Darrne Elkins as he didn’t let the illegal knee bother him and it seemed Pepey gas tank just ran out towards the end. Winner: Darren Elkins (22-5) by Unanimous Decision (29-27,29-27,30-26). – Looser: Godofredo Pepey (13-4). Next up in the featured prelim fight the bantamweights stepped up as #12 Frankie Saenz (11-3) took on #15 Eddie Wineland (21-11-1), what a perfect featured prelim bout as these two bantamweights did nothing but trade hands. At the end of the nigh Eddie Wineland had the heavier hand and his strikes were finding a home, and from the first time all the way to the finish he kept landing big shots that stunned Saenz multiple times. Winner: Eddie Wineland (22-11-1) by TKO Round 3. – Looser: Frankie Saenz (11-4).
The main card kicks off in the women’s strawweight division as Felice Herrig (10-6) took on Kailin Curran (4-2), a perfect return in front of her home crowd for Felice Herrig as she came in and dominated, when she had Curran rocked she took her back and slipped in the choke for the win. A beautiful performance. Winner: Felice Herrig (11-6) by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1. – Looser: Kailin Curren (4-3). Next up in the heavyweight division Knockout artist Francis Ngannou (7-1) took on Bojan Mihajlovic (10-3), Francis Ngannou just send another message to the heavyweight division as he dominates Mihajlovic from start to finish. Franics hits a big shot that rocks Bojan the hammers followed and that was all she wrote. Francis Ngannou is a monster. Winner: Francis Ngannou (8-1) by TKO Round 1. – Looser: Bojan Mihajlovic (10-4). The lightweights were headlining the co main event as the returning Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (22-5) took on the surging #6 Edson Barboza (17-4) what a co main event, these two guys put on a show. Gilbert Melendez made his return and stood right in Barboza face even though his legs were getting wore down. Barboza came out and played his game, he took down Gilberts leg so pad that he had to change stances and with the leg being brutalized Edson was able to land big shots. Gilbert at one time did have Barboza rocked but it just wasn’t enough to stop the #6 ranked lightweight. Winner: Edson Barboza (18-4) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,29-28). – Looser: Gilbert Melendez (22-6).
Main Event Women’s Bantamweight Division
#2 Holly Holm (10-1) Vs #7 Valentina Shevchenko (12-2)
In the main event former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm is out for redemption since being dethroned and her road to redemption starts with Valerie Shevchenko a kickboxing star. Two women who stand and bang go head to head. In the 1st the fight started out with little action as both women know just how deadly each other can be. Holly is the first to land a big blow that knocks down Valentina but quickly back to her feet Shevchenko gets back in the fight. Into the 2nd Shevchenko started to open and land some shots on Holly, though nothing was significant she’s starting to get the message across to Holm. In the 3rd Valentina throws a combo that lands and follows up with a takedown. Holly has been opened up on the side of her eye. Holm works her way back up to her feet but Valentina takes her down again. After some ground and pound by Valentina the 3rd comes to an end and Holly seemed to be tiring. Into the 4th Shevchenko started to play her game and just wait for Holly to come in. Even though there wasn’t a lot of action Valentina is putting the finishing touches on a big win. The 5th begins with Valentina continuing to do what she has done through the first four rounds and that’s to sit and wait for Holm to come in. Holly started to get a little aggressive towards the end but it was just too little too late. Both women fought there fight and though it wasn’t full of action did just enough to seal the deal. Valentina landed with the early strikes and the key counters. Holm Just couldn’t do enough to pull ahead in the fight but both women threw and landed big shots. A great fight between two top contenders.
Winner: Valentina Shevchenko (13-2) by Unanimous Decision (49-46,49-46,49-46)
Looser: Holy Holm (10-2).
By: Rick San Bartolome
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