UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega took place Dec. 9 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Top contender Valentina Shevchenko (16-3) faced off against former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3) for the vacant women’s flyweight title in the night’s co-main event, which aired live on pay-per-view.
For more on Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk, check out the play-by-play courtesy of MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee.
Round 1: Referee Todd Anderson will oversee this women’s flyweight championship bout. Battle of leg kicks to start. Stark contrast between the springiness of Jedrzejczyk and Shevchenko looking calmly still. Plenty of range-finding jabs by Jedrzejczyk. They clinch up and Shevchenko immediately scores with a trip, landing in side control. Jedrzejczyk turning into it, trying to stand back up. She gets into sprawl position and takes some damage as she rises, but she is on her feet. Both women battling for underhooks against the fence, Shevchenko looking for another trip. They’re trading shot knees inside before breaking apart. Jedrzejczyk continuing to probe as Shevchenko takes incremental steps forward. Gorgeous counter spinning back kick by Shevchenko lands just as Jedrzejczyk was throwing a leg kick and she stumbles back for a second. 1-2 over the top scores for Shevchenko.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Shevchenko
Round 2: Shevchenko lands a front kick, then a leg kick, then attempts a spinning backfist that gets blocked. Front kick to the body lands for Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko staying out of the range of the jab, she lands one of her own. Jedrzejczyk having some success with outside leg kicks. Body punch by Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk throwing more, but Shevchenko backs her up with a straight left. Shevchenko with the 1-2, Jedrzejczyk ducks her head and backs up slightly before re-engaging. Jedrzejczyk’s leg kicks are finding a home. Shevchenko catches a kick and tries to bully Jedrzejczyk to the mat, Jedrzejczyk back up, but she doesn’t break Shevchenko’s grip. Shevchenko gets her back down with a big slam and she’s working from side control again. Not much action outside of short elbows from the top by Shevcheno. Jedrzejczyk gets to the fence and wall walks up, but she takes a knee and is taken down again just before the buzzer.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Shevchenko. Overall 20-18, Shevchenko
Round 3: Shevchenko having better luck with her kicks, landing on Jedrzejczyk’s body. She lands another crisp spinning kick to the body that knocks Jedrzejczyk back. They trade straight punches. Another kick is trapped by Shevchenko, but she can’t get on top after briefly tripping Jedrzejczyk down. 1-2 lands crisp for Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko comes forward with punches and Jedrzejczyk lands a glancing high kick. Kicks to the body by Jedrzejczyk are landing and you can see Shevchenko trying to time a catch and trip. Shevchenko lunges in off of a punch, Jedrzejczyk stays upright, but takes a high knee as they separate. Superman punch by Shevchenko. Another knee inside scores for Shevchenko. Shevchenko catches the kick and goes for the body lock against the fence, then shows off her flexibility with a high knee.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Shevchenko. Overall 30-27, Shevchenko
Round 4: Jedrzejczyk trying to come forward, but she can’t land anything substantial beyond the occasional low kick or strike to Shevchenko’s body. Clinch, knees to the body by Shevchenko, she smothers Jedrzejczyk and throws an elbow on the separation. Nice snap Jedrzejczyk’s kicks as she continues to target the body and lead leg of Shevchenko. Jedrzejczyk avoids a clinch attempt. However, Shevchenko catches a kick and turns until she gets the takedown. Shevchenko in side control. Jedrzejczyk turning into Shevchenko and getting her legs under her to stand. She’s holding on to Shevchenko’s body as Shevcheno maintains a headlock. Shevchenko all over Jedrzejczyk. They’re essentially stalled. They break with less than a minute remaining in the fourth. Inside leg kick by Shevchenko, Jedrzejczyk answers with a kick to the body. 1-2 combo by Shevchenko and she evades a spinning strike by Jedrzejczyk as the round closes.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Shevchenko. Overall 40-36, Shevchenko
Round 5: Shevchenko in and out as the round opens, she’s staying just at the edge of Jedrzejczyk’s kicks. Clinch attempt and Shevchenko tosses Jedrzejczyk against the cage, then switches from a Thai plum attempt to a body lock. Jedrzejczyk defending well. Another stall and Anderson gives them time to work before calling for a break. They’re trading body kicks. Shevchenko comes forward with a 1-2 and a leg kick. Nice counter jab by Jedrzejczyk. 1-2 over the top by Shevchenko and then a nice short spinning kick to Jedrzejczyk’s side. Outside leg kick counter by Shevchenko. Shevchenko letting those hands go. She eats a body punch but partially connects with a spinning back fist. Another body lock against the cage as Shevchenko looks to ride this one out. Spinning body kick by Shevchenok. She lands a straight punch too and makes Jedrzejczyk miss. They end the fight tied up in the grappling.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Shevchenko. Overall 50-45, Shevchenko
Official result: Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)