The prelim card has wrapped up in Chicago, so it’s time to check out the main card fights. In the headliner, former bantamweight champ Holly Holm will battle Valentina Shevchenko.
Kailin Curran vs. Felice Herrig
Round 1: Herrig plants a left hook. Another hook from Herrig. Body kick from Herrig. Curran charges in and fires a kick but gets taken down. Herrig moves to Curran’s back and locks up a rear-naked-choke. Curran is trying to defend. Wow. Curran taps. Impressive win for Herrig!
Felice Herrig def. Kailin Curran via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 1:59
Bojan Mihajlovic vs. Francis Ngannou
Round 1: Mihajlovic is moving around while Ngannou is taking his time. Ngannou misses with a right. Ngannou comes with a big left and Mihajlovic hits the deck. Ngannou is firing down shots and Herb Dean stops the bout. Mihajlovic is upset about the stoppage. Replay shows that first left actually didn’t hit Mihajlovic in the head, and that he fell while going for a TD. Ngannou did land a couple of big hammer fists in the follow up. In any case, fight’s over.
Francis Ngannou def. Bojan Mihajlovic via TKO (punches) R1, 1:34
Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez
Round 1: Melendez lands a right but takes two nasty, leg kicks in return from Barboza. Melendez shoots in from way out but Barboza moves away. Melendez changes levels but Barboza defends. Melendez lands a left hook. Melendez catches a kick and knees Barboza to the body. Hard leg kick from Barboza and then he digs a kick to the body. Spinning kick from Barboza to the body is blocked. Melendez fires a nice hook. Melendez charges in and just misses with a huge hook. Nice combo from Barboza. Both men land big shots in the pocket. Wow. Melendez has some redness by his right eye. Barboza lands a jumping knee to the body. Round ends.
Round 2: Both lightweights come out aggressively and trade punches. Hard right hand from Melendez is blocked. Melendez shoots it but Barboza defends. Melendez is on his back but Barboza lets him up. Hard leg kick from Barboza. Another leg kick from Barboza and Melendez temporarily goes down. Another leg kick from Barboza. Latter cracks Melendez to the body with a kick and then goes to the leg. Wow. Melendez cracks Barboza with a right hand that wobbles him. Melendez shoots in but Barboza defends. Great action. Barboza fires a right to the chest. Melendez takes another leg kick. Melendez throws a kick to the body but it’s caught. Barboza is on top. Big punches from Barboza. Round ends.
Round 3: Melendez takes another leg kick and the vet is hurting badly. Another one. Wow. Unbelievable. Melendez absorbs another leg kick. Melendez fires a right but takes another leg kick. Melendez telegraphs a shot and Barboza defends easily. Melendez’s movement is compromised. Right hand from Melendez. Latter needs to do something big fast. They trade punches. Final horn goes.
Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Round 1: Holm is going to the legs with kicks. No surprises there. Shevchenko comes back with one of her own. Shevchenko plants a right. Latter sticks a jab. Wow. Holm drops Shevchenko with a right but the latter pops right back up. Holm misses with a side kick. High kick from Holm misses. Holm over extends on a left and Shevchenko throws her to the mat. Holm quickly gets back to her feet and has Shevchenko against the cage. Holm is throwing knees to the thighs. They break. Round ends.
Round 2: Shevchenko with a leg kick. Holm lands a side kick after Shevchenko misses with an axe kick. Shevchenko is staying busy with leg kicks. Latter clinches up but Holm pushes Shevchenko to the cage. They break. Holm flurries in but gets countered with a right. Shevchenko spins but punch is blocked. Holm plants a right but she takes a counter left. Shevchenko flurries in. Shevchenko lands a left. Shevchenko is finding the mark more often this round. Shevchenko spins with a punch and misses. Follow up leg kick from Shevchenko. Round ends.
Round 3: Shevchenko is staying busy with the leg kicks. Holm attempts a Superman Punch and Shevchenko wings a spinning backfist that misses. Holm may need to change up the strategy. Big right from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko sweeps Holm to the ground after she catches a kick. Holm is back to her feet. Holm is cut by her right eye. Shevchenko trips Holm to the canvas and is on top. Some fans start to boo. Shevchenko is stuck in the halfguard of Holm. Shevchenko lands a couple of elbows. Joe Rogan just said that replay shows cut was due to headbutt. Round ends.
Round 4: Shevchenko is probably up 2-1. Holm lands a side kick. Shevchenko responds with a hard leg kick. Shevchenko comes with a nice combo. Spinning wheel kick from Shevchenko just misses. Holm digs a hard kick to the leg of Shevchenko. Holm misses with an overhand left and takes a counter. Another leg kick from Shevchenko. Holm sticks a jab. Shevchenko shoots from way out and Holm steps away. Holm lands a kick to the body. Shevchenko with a nice jab. Round ends.
Round 5: Holm could need a stoppage to win. Shevchenko is continuing to win the striking exchanges. Holm with a nice combo. Shevchenko spins with a kick that just misses. Superman Punch from Shevchenko. Latter plants a jab. Another right from Shevchenko lands. Holm flurries in nicely. And another combo from Holm. Holm misses with a left and eats a right. Holm is turning it up. Big right from Holm misses. Shevchenko flurries nicely. Final horn goes.
Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)