August 9, 2019

UFC on ESPN+ 14: Valentina Shevchenko Looking For Revenge Against Liz Carmouche At UFC Uruguay

By Adam Martin

UFC Women's Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko continues what has been a busy flyweight run so far when she takes on Liz Carmouche this Saturday night at UFC Fight Night Uruguay, in a main event rematch. Shevchenko just dusted Jessica Eye with a head kick at UFC 238 in June, but she couldn't pass on the opportunity to jump back in the Octagon, make some money, and possibly earn some revenge against Carmouche.

Shevchenko and Carmouche first met back in 2010 as undefeated, unknown prospects. It was Shevchenko's eighth pro fight and Carmouche's fifth. The fight took place at C3 Fights in Concho, Oklahoma, and Carmouche ended up winning the fight by second-round doctor stoppage TKO, though many say it was an iffy stoppage (there is no video of the fight available). The point is, not many people knew at the time that both these fighters would eventually become two of the most important and successful women's MMA fighters of all time. It's proof that you can never quite predict the direction in which an MMA fighters' career will go.

For Carmouche, she parlayed the win over Shevchenko into a contract with Strikeforce, going 1-2 in that promotion before signing with Invicta, where she went 2-0. And then in February 2013, when the UFC needed an opponent for Ronda Rousey in the first-ever women's bantamweight title bout in the main event of UFC 157, Carmouche got the call.

Carmouche fought hard, nearly submitting Rousey with a neck crank before ultimately succumbing to an armbar. Still, it was a monumental fight in the history of women's MMA and of the UFC, and Carmouche was a big part of it. And since the fight, Carmouche has been able to have into a very good career in the UFC, where she's gone 5-4 across two weight classes.

For Shevchenko, the loss to Carmouche put her on a different path. Suffering a defeat hurt her at that point of her MMA career, so she returned to kickboxing and Muay Thai, only competing four times over the next five years on the regional MMA scene. But she won all four bouts, and when the UFC came calling in late 2015, Shevchenko defeated veteran Sarah Kaufman by split decision in her UFC debut, a win that was considered an upset at the time.

Since then, Shevchenko has achieved an overall record of 6-2 in the UFC (with her only losses being close decisions to Amanda Nunes) and has added the women's flyweight title to her mantle. But she has admitted the loss to Carmouche still bothers her. It's amazing, though, how much that loss fueled her to become the fighter she is today.

So this Saturday night in Uruguay, Valentina Shevchenko will get the opportunity to right the wrongs of that fight and get revenge over the woman who handed her her first loss. You don't always get the chance to avenge your first loss in MMA, so this is a tremendous opportunity for Shevchenko. And for Carmouche, it's the opportunity of a lifetime, fighting for a UFC belt again against someone she has already beaten. UFC Uruguay, therefore, is a night of opportunity and hope for both women. Now let's see what they do with it.

UFC on ESPN+ 14
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche (UFC Women's Flyweight Championship)

UFC on ESPN+ 14: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2 takes place August 10, 2019 at Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Click HERE for more UFC on ESPN+ 14 Pre-Fight Analysis


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