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#espn : Shevchenko KO’s Eye with head kick to keep title


CHICAGO — Valentina Shevchenko‘s first title defense ended in highlight-reel fashion.

Shevchenko blasted challenger Jessica Eye with a left head kick 26 seconds into the second round that knocked Eye out cold in the co-main event of UFC 238 on Saturday night at the United Center. Shevchenko successfully retained the UFC women’s flyweight title with the spectacular knockout.

Eye was down and unconscious for about a minute, and when she came to she was unaware of what had happened.

The only other head-kick knockout in a women’s UFC title fight was by Holly Holm, when she defeated Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in 2015.

Shevchenko landed two takedowns in the first round and completely dominated the first five minutes in top position. Near the end of the round, Shevchenko went for a kimura submission, but Eye managed to escape and survive until the bell.

Early in the second round, Shevchenko went for a left kick, making it seem as if it were targeted for Eye’s midsection. Instead, the kick went to the head and Eye was not prepared for it. The blow landed and Eye immediately crumpled to the canvas on her back.

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Valentina Shevchenko discusses her highlight-reel KO at UFC 238 and her concern for Jessica Eye afterwards. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Shevchenko (17-3) has now won three straight and her only losses in the UFC have come against Amanda Nunes, who holds the UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight titles. Before Saturday, the Kyrgyzstan native had not scored a TKO/KO in her UFC career. Shevchenko, 31, is the sixth fighter in UFC championship history to notch a head-kick knockout.

Eye (14-7, 1 NC) saw her three-fight winning streak snapped. The 32-year-old Cleveland native had not lost since moving down to flyweight from bantamweight.


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