Orlando, FL – With the official scores coming in at 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28, Valentina Schevchenko was able to take a split decision over Sarah Kaufman, using efficient clinch work to take the victory.
UFC on Fox 17 took place December 19, 2015 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fl. Sarah Kaufman vs Valentina Shevchenko was contested on the preliminary portion of the event.
As this match-up began, Kaufman used forward pressure against Shevchenko early on, looking to tie up her opponent using the clinch. Surprisingly, Shevchenko reversed the situation and landed a takedown, holding the Canadian veteran in full guard. About a minute later, Shevchenko stands up, only to go for another takedown. Kaufman managed to get back up, but not before eating a few punches against the fence. Kaufman went for a heelhook, but without much to show for it. As the round came to a close, Shevchenko used a heavy underhook to bully Kaufman against the cage.
With the start of the second, Shevchenko wiffed on a hard spinning backfist. Both women resumed clinch-work against the fence, with Kaufman initiating. Shevchenko was getting the better of the exchanges however, landing some nice knees and controlling for the majority. With three minutes remaining, the athletes reset and Shevchenko lands a nice judo takedown, falling into Kaufman’s guard. With a minute to go, Kaufman gets to her feet and tries to go for a takedown of her own, but can not follow through. Another strong round for the Kyrgyzstani Muay-Thai champ.
Kaufman struggled to look for a solid takedown in round three, but Shevchenko ultimately used great balance in the clinch to deny early attempts. At the three minute mark, Kaufman finally landed a takedown and started to unload elbows from side control. Shevchenko looked to escape the position, but was forced to ride out the situation. A good round for the Canadian, but it was not enough to take a decision against her opponent.
With her first victory in the organization, Shevchenko moves up to 12-1 as an MMA athlete. Sarah Kaufman, now losing twice in a row, falls to 17-4.
— UFC (@ufc) December 19, 2015