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Morning Report: Michael Bisping defends Valentina Shevchenko’s performance, likens her to Anderson Silva

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Over the weekend, Valentina Shevchenko successfully defended her flyweight title with a unanimous decision over Liz Carmouche. The only problem was, the fight was objectively boring for the fans. Over the course of five rounds, Shevchenko only landed 42 strikes and one takedown (per UFC Stats). The problem for Carmouche was, she did even less, landing only 18 strikes, only one of which was to the head. Needless to say, coming off the back of Shevchenko’s sensational head kick KO of Jessica Eye in June, her main event performance at UFC Uruguay left much to be desired and had fans critiquing her showing. But not everyone was so down on Shevchenko’s performance.

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping was ready to cut the flyweight champion some slack. Bisping was down in Uruguay as one of the commentators for the event and he says Shevchenko’s performance wasn’t entirely on her and that Shevchenko is a victim of her own success.

“I think the problem for Shevchenko is that she was so amazing in her last fight,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “People were kind of expecting another stunning knockout, especially when you combine it with the fact that – and no disrespect to Liz Carmouche, very, very tough fighter, been around for a long period, she deserves respect – on paper, when you break it down, Shevchenko’s supposed to smoke her all day long. That’s what everybody was expecting.

“So number one, everybody was expecting it. Secondly, Carmouche staying so far on the outside . . . she was a little hesitant to get inside the pocket so she wasn’t landing much and Shevchenko’s game plan was to let Carmouche come to her and then counter. And Carmouche wasn’t doing that.”

Carmouche certainly wasn’t doing that and even said after the fight that she expected Shevchenko to be the aggressive fighter. Shevchenko remained content to win a dominant if uninspiring decision and said as much after the fight. After all, Shevchenko was the one with something to lose on Saturday and at no point did it look like she was in danger of doing so, so why should she change things up? That’s what Bisping argued, even likening Shevchenko to another once dominant champion who turned in a few underwhelming fights during his day: Anderson Silva.

“Could she have done more?,” Bisping asked rhetorically. “Yeah, she could’ve done more but you’ve got to remember, she’s defending the UFC world title. There’s a lot of pressure there. Great things happen to you when you’re UFC champion of the world and you don’t want to lose that. Number one you’ve got the money, you’ve got the fame, you’ve got the adoration, all that. And then you’ve got external opportunities. You get more sponsors, you get more recognition. For instance, when I won the belt against Luke Rockhold, that was on a Saturday. Monday morning I had two emails about potential movie offers. People want to do business with world champions. Sponsors want to do it. Movies want to do it. You’re on top of the world.

“So when you put all that together, yes could she have done more? 100 percent. Was it a classic performance? No. Was it a performance she wasn’t overly proud of? Perhaps. But was it truly dominant? Was it utterly one-sided? Yes, it was. And what you’ve got to remember is that as a champion, sometimes that’s going to happen. Look back at Anderson Silva. Look at his title reign. Not every fight he was in was the most sensational fight. Yes he provided many, many beautiful, extreme, creative knockouts that captured everybody’s imagination but some of them . . . The first one that springs to mind is Demian Maia. That fight was just god damn awful. But it didn’t affect his legacy.

“So Shevchenko, well done. A very, very successful title defense. Not the most stunning but as we just said, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

Silva of course turned in a number of bad fights, to the point that Dana White threatened to fire him during the height of his GOAT era because he was so mad about it. But time has washed away the forgettable performances and left fans only remembering the good times foe “The Spider”: his knockout of Vitor Belfort, submitting Chael Sonnen, and embarrassing Forrest Griffin. And Bisping thinks the same thing will happen for Shevchenko.

“I can’t wait to see her fight again because we know what she’s capable of,” Bisping said. “I don’t think her stock went down at all. It wasn’t the most exciting fight but it was a clearly dominant, technically brilliant fight. It was a fantastic performance it just wasn’t edge of your seat stuff.”

As for what’s next for “Bullet”, Shevchenko has begun calling for a trilogy bout with bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. Nunes holds two wins over Shevchenko already, though the second was a contentious split decision. And with Cris Cyborg now out of the picture, a superfight with Shevchenko may make the most sense for Nunes. But Bisping hopes not. He argues that Shevchenko and Nunes are the two greatest female fighters ever and that the UFC needs to wait on that so they can build it up into the biggest fight in WMMA history.

“That’s the fight. That’s the big money fight. Of course they were talking about Cyborg-Nunes again but Cyborg’s gone. She’s out of the equation at the moment. But still, I don’t think it’s the right time right now. She did lose and her last lost to Nunes wasn’t that long ago. So I think she needs to pick off a few more opponents at her own weight class to build the hype a bit more. Get a couple of knockouts, get everybody talking. Just like the Jessica Eye fight. She needs another performance like that. Then people will be like ‘F*ck, she might just beat Amanda Nunes,’ so it will really sell.

“Listen, Nunes and Shevchenko are by far and large the two best female fighters to ever grace the octagon. . . You name it, they can do it all so yeah, I would love to see that somewhere down the line.”


Results. Four receive contracts at last night’s Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Hero. Darren Till keen on clash with ‘childhood hero’ Robbie Lawler, eyes 2019 return.

Injury. Anthony Smith forced out until 2020 following second surgery on broken hand.

GOAT. Fabricio Werdum ranks Fedor Emelianenko ahead of Daniel Cormier as greatest heavyweight.

DAZN. Jungle Fight signs 33-month streaming deal with DAZN.


We started a new thing and I’m pumped about it. I can’t wait til y’all get to see me make my debut and hate on it relentlessly.

Embedded.

DC says Jon ain’t the GOAT.

Luque on Perry.

Jorge Masvidal – Super Necessary.


Eurobash. Interviews with Darren Till, Cyril Gane, and Fernand Lopez.

Fights Gone By. Discussing Valentina Shevchenko’s lackluster title defense.


Corey Anderson and Ricky Bandejas got into it.

Henry really is the king of cringe.

DC looking in a lot better shape than his last fight with Stipe.

Apparently Stipe will never be leaving California.

More from Mike Perry. Also check out his IG stories. Perry disputes his reported fighter pay and it sounds pretty terrible.

Breathtaking.


Devonte Smith (10-1) vs. Khama Worthy (14-6); UFC 241, Aug. 17.

Angela Hill (9-7) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (12-1); UFC Mexico City, Sept. 21.

Boston Salmon (6-2) vs. Randy Costa (4-1); UFC Boston, Oct. 18.

Tanner Boser (16-5-1) vs. Daniel Spitz (6-2); UFC Boston, Oct. 18.

Stefan Struve (29-11) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-12); UFC Washington D.C., Dec. 7.


2011: Chris Lytle retired from MMA, submitting Dan Hardy with a guillotine choke at UFC on Versus 5.


I’ve said for awhile Valentina is Anderson 2.0. She’s a pure counterfighter. If someone pushes the pace on her, she’ll do amazing things. If they don’t, it’ll look like a few of Anderson’s most forgettable performances. At the end of the day, we’ll probably get more awesome highlights than duds.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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