This was supposed to be The Holly Holm Show, a showcase fight to get the former UFC women's bantamweight champion right back into title contention.
The judges' scores at United Center were 49-46 across the board.
Holm (10-2) had her best round in the first, as she scored the fight's only knockdown among several impressive blows landed.
Bu Shevchenko got comfortable in the second round and turned the fight in her favor. The former kickboxing champion picked her spots, landed punches and kicks, and kept Holm from getting untracked.
In the third, she opened Holm up with an accidental headbutt, then worked her over from top position. Holm was never quite about to get back into the fight from there, as Shevchenko controlled the pace the rest of the way.
Over the course of the fight, Shevchenko outlanded Holm in significant strikes, 84-52, and scored three takedowns to Holm's zero.
"I prepared for this fight very very hard," Shevchenko said. "I showed very much heart. I'm very excited for this fight, it's very important for my career. My strategy was do everything I know all my skills, all my martial arts."
The victory put Shevchenko at 13-2 with six wins in her last seven fights. Her only loss in the span was to the new UFC women's bantamweight champ, Amanda Nunes.
"Amanda, she's a good fighter, got a good ground game, and much more," Shevchenko said. "I want Nunes, Amanda for the title belt."
Always a class act, Holm (10-2) refused to make an excuses after her second straight defeat.
"We train for everything, I was taught all the right things," Holm said. "I have no excuses for my performance tonight."