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Heated finish in UFC 215 main event was due to Amanda Nunes talking too much, says Valentina Shevchenko

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Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko in close combat in the UFC 215 main event
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The main event of UFC 215 was just starting to heat up when the buzzer sounded.

After 25 minutes of methodical striking and grappling that occasionally left the audience in Edmonton, Alberta displeased with the lack of action, UFC 215 main event competitors Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko stepped up the intensity in the closing moments of the bout, jawing at each other as the buzzer sounded.

At the evening’s post-fight presser, Shevchenko was asked what was said between the two women and what caused the outburst.

“I really don’t remember exactly, but I don’t like her (attitude),” Shevchenko said. “And she knew that she was losing the fight. It’s only one takedown (that was successful for her), that’s why I think she was more acting for judges, for public, for all people around to see that she is more active, by (talking to me at the end).

“But this time while she was speaking something, I was punching her and I think this is more real because this is MMA, it’s not only speaking. If you speak, you will receive punch and in the final (moments) this is exactly what happened.”

Shevchenko is not known for engaging in trash talk, but given how close the fight was and her past history with Nunes (the defending women’s bantamweight champion outpointed Shevchenko in a three-round encounter at UFC 196), it’s clear that her emotions were less restrained than usual.

In addition to butting heads with Nunes, Shevchenko also expressed her displeasure with the judges’ decision, with two of them scoring the fight for the champ 48-47.