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UFC 266 results: Valentina Shevchenko bludgeons Lauren Murphy with elbows to earn fourth-round finish

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UFC 266: Shevchenko v Murphy Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Valentina Shevchenko remains one of the most dominant fighters in the sport following another one-sided title defense as she dispatched Lauren Murphy in the UFC 266 co-main event.

It was a surgical performance from Shevchenko as she just broke down Murphy round after round until she finally connected with a nasty right hook that was ultimately the beginning of the end. Once Murphy was hurt, Shevchenko went for the kill with the finish coming on the ground after she unloaded a series of unanswered elbows that forced the referee to stop the fight.

The official end time came at 4:00 in the fourth round as Shevchenko completed her sixth consecutive title defense.

“It feels amazing,” Shevchenko said after her latest win. “Martial arts is everything.

“When you feel this is a moment to get your finish, I went all the way until the end. When I saw the position, I just started to elbow, elbow, elbow and I knew the finish was coming soon.”

A technician like always, Shevchenko was methodical with her shot selection while picking and choosing the strikes she was throwing against Murphy in the opening round. Shevchenko’s speed was giving Murphy problems as the flyweight champion would throw a rapid-fire combination of punches followed by a leg kick that was nearly impossible to defend.

With just over a minute to go in the first round, Murphy already had significant swelling under her left eye from the repeated right hands that Shevchenko was landing.

While Shevchenko was winning on the feet, she also showcased her dominance on the ground by taking Murphy to the canvas towards the end of both the first and second rounds. Shevchenko was heavy on top as she forced her shoulder down onto Murphy’s chin while peppering away with short punches.

By the time the fight moved into the third round, Shevchenko was picking Murphy apart on the feet with fast, blitzing punches and then blasting away with kicks to the body. Shevchenko was pitching a shutout and Murphy was still lacking any real offense to back off the champion.

Shevchenko’s patience on the feet finally paid off in the fourth round when she blasted Murphy with a right hook that immediately put the challenger on wobbly legs. With Murphy hurt, Shevchenko surged ahead with a barrage of shots that nearly earned her the knockout but then she brought the fight crashing to the ground.

Shevchenko just started hammering away with punches and then eventually the elbows that saw Murphy wilt from the pressure and the referee had no choice but to stop the fight or risk further damage being doled out by the champion.

Undefeated at 125 pounds and arguably one of the most dominant champions on the entire UFC roster, Shevchenko looks absolutely unstoppable right now and she will likely remain a massive favorite over every other flyweight that attempts to take away her title.