The other Shevchenko sister landed in the UFC on Friday, and Antonina Shevchenko made good in her debut, earning a unanimous decision win over Ji Yeon Kim.
UFC’s TUF 28 Finale went down Friday night from Las Vegas, and the main card kicked off with what was scheduled as a 3 round contest in a must-see women’s Flyweight fight. While Ji Yeon Kim missed the 126 lb weight limit, costing her 30% of her fight purse and making this a catch weight contest with Antonina Shevchenko, that was an afterthought. All eyes were on the debut of the “other” Shevchenko. Sister of top bantamweight and now flyweight Valentina Shevchenko, Antonina came into the promotion with lofty expectations. Shevchenko won her way into the fold by defeating Jaymee Nievara by TKO on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Friday night, Kim opened with a right that just missed the mark. She looked to load up on the right but mostly missed the mark. Shevchenko fired off a high kick that she just missed with as well. Kim pressed forward looking for the right hand, and Shevchenko answered with a low kick. The two exchanged and Kim landed a right that knocked Shevchenko off balance; she recovered and landed a front kick before the two cliched against the cage. Shevchenko looked for the trip but Kim worked free and spun around to press Shevchenko into the fence. They worked for position until the ref stepped in to break them up. Kim fired off a punch that Shevchenko countered, she followed that by landing a take down and ended on top of Kim just before the horn sounded to end the round.
Shvchenko opened round two with a high kicked followed by a leg kick. Kim tried to answer but Shevchenko landed another nice punch combination. Kim got the clinch against the cage and two worked for position with Shevchenko spinning out and taking control. She looked for the trip but the ref came in to break them up. Kim moved forward but Shevchenko landed another combination that stopped her for a moment. Kim again moved forward and secured the clinch but Shevchenko was quick to gain position and started to work the knees. They broke apart and returned to center to exchange, with Shevchenko landing a spinning elbow. Kim continued to press but Shevchenko had a combination ready to counter her advance. They again ended up in the clinch but the horn sounded to end the round.
In the third, Kim threw a body kick that was caught by Shevchenko and quickly used to secure the take down. Shevchenko worked from guard and looked to advance position. Kim defended well but Shevchenko stood up landing kicks on the legs of Kim, who was still grounded. Kim tried to get up, Shevchenko fired off a knee that caught Kim but she was still considered downed. The ref was quick to jump in and warn Shevchenko. Action resumed and again they ended up in the clinch. There, Shevchenko found the mark with a stiff elbow. They broke again, and Kim landed a nice jab before backing Shevchenko into the cage and initiating the clinch. Shevchenko gained position and landed a solid knee shortly before the round came to an end.
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If it was a test, Shevchenko passed. Her first UFC win, and with her pedigree, there figures to be many more to come.
Antonina Shevchenko def. Ji Yeon Kim by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)