Voting is now open for the 12th annual World MMA Awards. Head here to vote for your favourite fighters and MMA personalities.
Fighters Only has extended the nomination period from 12 months to 18 months (1st January 2019 – 30th June 2020) to best account for all global MMA action and performances.
The star-studded, black-tie 2020 World MMA Awards event will be held in October 2020 on a date and location to be announced.
In the lead-up to the big show, we are profiling each of the 12th annual World MMA Awards nominees.
Valentina Shevchenko is nominated for the Female Fighter of the Year in the 12th annual World MMA Awards.
The last 18 months have been memorable in the storied combat sports career of Valentina Shevchenko.
She entered 2019 as the UFC women’s flyweight champion – after comfortably defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk by decision at UFC 231 – and has held that title ever since.
Shevchenko’s first fight of 2019 saw her take on Jessica Eye and at UFC 238. the Kyrgyzstan kickboxer proved why she is one of the most feared women in the sport.
Shevchenko quite literally kicked off the first of her last three fights in style.
“Bullet” tendered up Eye’s body in the early stages of the fight, slamming her leg into Eye’s midriff whenever she pleased.
The champion also showed off her prowess in the grappling stakes too – taking Eye down with ease before displaying a dominant top game which saw her almost secure a kimura submission late on in the earlier round.
But the real showstopping moment occurred in the second round.
Shevchenko’s early bodywork had paid dividends. As she wound up for another powerful kick, Eye instinctively went to defend her body once again. However, Shevchenko aimed high this time and her shin connected with the challenger’s head to knock her out unconscious.
The finish, which is undoubtedly one of the most devastating knockouts in women’s MMA history, saw Shevchenko make her first defence of the UFC women’s flyweight championship.
Title defence number two saw Shevchenko take on Liz Carmouche in a rematch.
Carmouche handed the Kyrgyzstan-Peru dual national the first loss of her MMA career in controversial circumstances in 2010 after their fight was ended due to doctor’s stoppage in relation to a cut.
Almost a decade later, Shevchenko was able to avenge that defeat on her record.
In August, 2019 Bullet deservedly won a five-round unanimous decision in Montivideo, Uruguay.
It wasn’t Shevchenko’s most entertaining of performances, but it was dominant as she got the better of a defensive Carmouche on the ground and standing up.
Shevchenko showed why she is such a formidable force in women’s MMA as she easily controlled the fight wherever it went, seemingly having the upper hand on her foe in all areas as she comfortably coasted to a deserved decision win to make her second defence of UFC gold at 125 pounds.
After receiving some criticism for not finishing Carmouche last time out, Shevchenko appeared determined to not let that happen again when she took on Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247 in February of this year.
While the fight only took place five or so months ago, it seems so long ago since Shevchenko wowed a packed arena in Houston, Texas.
Obviously the world has changed a lot since then, but Shevchenko made the most of the now-rare opportunity to impress in front of a crowd even without the benefit of hindsight.
The kickboxer handed American Chookagian her first ever stoppage loss that night as she showed off her supreme striking skills.
Shevchenko blitzed Chookagian with some vicious counter punching combinations in the first round but turned it up a notch in the second, landing a beautiful wheel kick and following with a high axe kick.
The end came in the third as Bullet grounded her foe and trapped her in a mounted crucifix to deliver a number of unanswered blows to force the referee stoppage.
Three fights, three title defences. Shevchenko is rightly considered one of WMMA’s boogeywomen and she cemented that position with these three dominant performances over the last 18 months.
Is Valentina Shevchenko your Female Fighter of the Year?
Voting is now open for the 12th annual World MMA Awards.
Head here to vote for your favourite fighters and MMA personalities.