Daniel Cormier believes a head clash saved Valentina Shevchenko from losing her flyweight title at UFC 275.
Daniel Cormier believes Shevchenko was a moment away from losing her title
In the co-main event of UFC 275 this past weekend, Shevchenko put her 125-pound strap up for grabs against Taila Santos. It was one of Shevchenko’s most competitive fights of her UFC run, with Santos actually putting the champion in danger several times.
Santos was able to use her wrestling to get Shevchenko down and control her for a good portion of the fight. However, when it was all said and done, Santos came up on the wrong end of a split decision.
UFC Hall Of Famer Daniel Cormier, who was working the broadcast, offered his thoughts on the post-fight show. Cormier believes a clash of heads during the fight ultimately saved “Bullet” from losing her title.
“(It was a) accidental clash of heads that ultimately, to me, really did determine how this fight was going to play out,” Cormier said (via MMA Junkie).
“There is no reason for me to believe that anything was going to be different because every round Santos was able to do the same thing – get the takedown. … But in Round 4 and Round 5, Valentina showed her championship mettle.
“She showed that desire to retain that belt because she went forward, she threw caution to the wind, and she really did put it on Taila Santos.”
There was a ton of controversy surrounding the scoring of the bout, and Cormier himself admits he actually scored the contest for Santos.
“I thought (Santos) won the fight,” Cormier said. “I think there’s value in those submission attempts.
“I understand it wasn’t under the neck, I understand that Valentina wasn’t squirming and fighting for her life, but every time Taila Santos put herself in position to chase those submissions there’s got to be some value in that.”
Many have called for an immediate rematch for Santos given how exceptional her performance was, and how close the scoring came out to be. However, Cormier doesn’t see Santos having the same success if they run it back.
Simply put, Cormier believes Shevchenko will make the necessary adjustments after having shared the Octagon with Santos once already.
“Here’s the problem for Taila Santos: I don’t believe that, in a rematch, she fights Valentina as close because I believe Valentina will make adjustments,” Cormier said.
“That (fight) was a bit of a surprise to a champion like Valentina Shevchenko.”
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s statement?