Amanda Nunes defeats Valentina Shevchenko via split decision

MMA DFS Playbook: UFC 215

"The Lioness" used a more energy conserving, yet technical, approach to earn a very close, hard to judge, split-decision victory over Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 215. She backed Shevchenko up virtually the whole fight, and had a slightly higher output. Nunes, the champion, is coming in with a -105 money line.

On Saturday night the UFC circus comes rolling into Edmonton for the organizations 215th installment of a Pay Per View event that they have put on. The main card will air live on PPV at 10PM ET.

It's a valid question without a real answer, as even if you didn't think she won the fight (I did, for the record), there is no real way to be critical of her conditioning or her overall performance.

The two were set to fight in July at UFC 213, but Nunes pulled out the day of the fight with sinus issues.

Valentina Shevchenko fought even closer with Nunes than she did last time around.

Miocic last defended his title in May at UFC 211.

It was the second time Nunes had beaten Shevchenko in 18 months. Nunes is a very powerful striker that also has some good submission skills. Nunes continued to chop her opponent's lead leg, but it did little to dissuade the challenger from launching into the exchanges.

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As quite possibly the most talented match in the short history of the women's 135-pound landscape, the fight may not have delivered the all-out, back-and-forth barnburner that many fans expected due to the fireworks of their first fight at 2016's UFC 196. Shevchenko fired off strikes from her back, but Nunes wouldn't give up the top position, and that's where she would remain until the horn sounded to end the fight. Nothing significant. Look at her face?

The key to this fight may be the five-round aspect. "I'm going to keep my belt, walk away, go home, drink some beer and then celebrate with all my friends and my girlfriend".

We'll get to the main event later, but I want to hit on some real shining moments from these UFC 215 results. Although the fight could have easily gone the other way, this likely caused Shevchenko the championship. With under two minutes left, Shevchenko tried to turn a Nunes takedown into a throw, but Nunes ended up on her back on the mat.

"I know exactly that she feels that she didn't win this fight". Her striking has been on point.

It was not a bad fight, but it was just a fight. Could Nunes, now the world champion after smashing Tate and Ronda Rousey in consecutive bouts, beat Shevchenko in such a decisive manner as to declare herself the successor to Rousey's famed dominance?

Need More winners against the spread? Look for her to find an opening in the early rounds and finish the fight. Get $60 worth of FREE premium member picks.

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