Las Vegas, Nevada – November 22, 2020 – Still undefeated! Monster Energy congratulates Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko on defending her UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 on Saturday night. In the Co-Main Event at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, the 32-year-old mixed martial arts expert from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, defended the UFC’s 125-pound championship by unanimous decision after five rounds. This marks the fourth successful title defense for Shevchenko, who also earned a $50,000 performance-of-the-night bonus.
UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez was contested as a closed-to-the-public event in the safe environment of the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas and broadcast live on ESPN+ pay-per-view. The event happened amid enhanced safety protocols to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including stringent pre-fight quarantine and extensive testing for fighters and personnel.
Shevchenko (20-3) stepped into the Octagon as the reigning UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. She first earned the title in a fight against Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231 in December 2018. In February 2020, Shevchenko defended her belt at UFC 247 with a knockout victory against Katlyn Chookagian. But recently recovered from MCL surgery on her knee, she was in for a challenge: Saturday night’s opponent, 32-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Jennifer Maia came to Las Vegas as a strong contender after submitting Joanne Calderwood in Round 1 at UFC Fight Night 173 in August.
Both fighters launched into the title fight swinging, but it was the champion who landed the first significant strikes. Drawing on her superior grappling, Shevchenko secured a body lock to take Maia to the mat and dominate from the top. But she was in for a surprise when Maia turned up the heat in Round 2, managing to take down Shevchenko to become only the second flyweight in UFC history to win a round over the champion.