In her biggest performance to date, O’Neill was dominant in victory after bludgeoning Antonina Shevchenko with a blistering series of punches and elbows on the ground to earn a TKO stoppage at 4:47 into the second round.
The win moved O’Neill to 8-0 in her career with three consecutive finishes in the UFC.
“It felt good,” O’Neill said about her win. “I say it time and time again, just because I didn’t had the opportunity to fight people like this doesn’t mean I’m not ready for it. I’m here. I’m staying. I’m for real and I hope that I proved that to everybody tonight cause I’m here to stay.”
O’Neill was aggressive from the start of the fight as she was in constant pursuit of Shevchenko while looking to connect with her strikes and also mixing in takedowns. Shevchenko was able to counter early as she displayed strong striking but she also struggled to out from underneath O’Neill once she got wrestled to the ground.
When she was able to work from distance, Shevchenko was at her best while firing a barrage of punches and circling away to stay on the outside. Unfortunately, O’Neill wasn’t showing a ton of respect to Shevchenko’s power, which allowed her to continue to bully forward in order to get the fight back to the canvas.
Once the fight hit the floor, O’Neill was methodical as she sliced through Shevchenko’s defense to move into the mount, which spelled the beginning of the end.
O’Neill was relentless with her ground and pound attack, throwing a variety of punches and elbows that saw Shevchenko’s face start to bruise and swell from the damage she was absorbing. After a couple of unanswered shots really took a toll on Shevchenko, referee Chris Tognoni had no choice but to stop the contest.
O’Neill has already been considered one of the top prospects in the flyweight division but with this latest finish, she undoubtedly caught the attention of everybody at 125 pounds — including the champion, Valentina Shevchenko.