Michael Bisping thinks Taila Santos might’ve done enough to dethrone UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.

Shevchenko (23-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) notched her seventh title defense when she edged out Santos by split decision Saturday at UFC 275 in what was her toughest test as champion.

Santos (19-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) got off to a great start when was able to take Shevchenko down on numerous occasions and control her, but Shevchenko rallied in the latter rounds to take the decision.

“We saw her look human,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “Now, of course, as we know, Amanda Nunes has beaten Valentina Shevchenko on two occasions, but tonight she almost lost at 125. Amanda Nunes is bigger, she’s stronger, she’s the 145-pound champion and the (former) bantamweight champion.

“Tonight, Valentina Shevchenko went out there in the flyweight division where she rules. She’s the No. 1. She’s the best, simple as that, and no one’s been close to beating her. Shevchenko has almost become her own kryptonite because she just dismantles everybody with ease but not tonight. Tonight, she had to fight through real adversity.”

Bisping, who commentated the title fight at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, thinks the fight could have gone either way, and it all came down to one deciding round.

“I really wasn’t sure which way it was gonna go,” Bisping said. “It all came down to Round 3. Round 1 and 2, clearly for Taila Santos. Round 4 and 5, I think it’s fair to say that Shevchenko stole them. Round 3 is the one for me that’s open for debate. Started off strong for Shevchenko, but then Santos took her down, she got on top, she threatened the choke, she did a little bit of damage with ground-and-pound, so how do you score it?”

With the fight being so close, Bisping thinks Santos earned the right for an immediate rematch and would serve as a good rival for Shevchenko to help elevate her game.

“If I was the matchmaker, I’d say let’s run it back, and it would be really interesting,” Bisping said. “Who’s gonna change? Who’s gonna alter their game? Who’s gonna adjust? Shevchenko could work on her takedown defense; she could work on grappling. Santos could work on her striking. Either way, it was an incredible fight, back-and-forth. Well done to both ladies.”

By admin