Shevchenko Seeks To Restore Order To The Flyweight Division

She followed up that victory by trucking Jessica Andrade, who was expected to be her toughest test to date, and then battering Lauren Murphy for four-plus rounds before the fight was mercifully brought to a halt. She was unmatched, unchallenged, and it didn’t seem like anyone was even going to come close to unseating Shevchenko from her throne.

But that started to change last summer, when she faced off with Taila Santos in the co-main event of UFC 275.

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Although she came away with the title still wrapped around her waist, the Brazilian challenger was more than competitive, winning three rounds on one of the judges’ scorecards and garnering two frames on the other, with the momentum of the fight seemingly shifting after an accidental clash of heads that Santos clearly got the worst of in the moment.

It was easily the closest anyone had come to dethroning the flyweight queen, until Grasso did the unexpected six months ago, prompting some to wonder if Shevchenko’s days of being a dominant force and unmatched in the 125-pound weight class had come to a close.

“I am here to show they are wrong,” she said, addressing one of the prominent questions that hovers over Saturday’s championship rematch. “It’s not about the age — it’s about approach, your lifestyle.

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