Valentina Shevchenko will not appeal her split-decision loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 215 last weekend, according to her manager Roger Allen.
Shevchenko (14-3) suffered her second career loss to Nunes in a very close bantamweight title fight in Edmonton. Judges scored the five-round bout for Nunes: 48-47, 48-47 and 47-48.
At the postfight news conference, Shevchenko adamantly stated she won the fight and indicated she would consider an appeal. According to Allen, Shevchenko’s team wants to follow through on an appeal, but she’s opted against it.
“We spoke with the commission and have encouraged Valentina to file an appeal — and we think we have a case — but at this time, Valentina does not want one,” Allen told ESPN. “She said she does not want a tile fight settled on a technicality.”
One issue Allen raised — not necessarily in favor of an appeal, but worth mentioning in this case — is the Edmonton commission is one those that has adopted the new scoring criteria approved by the Association of Boxing Commissions last year.
The language of the new criteria emphasizes scoring effective striking and grappling over things like “aggression” and “cage control.”
Not all athletic commissions have adopted the language. In other words, the judges who scored last weekend’s title fight in Edmonton were technically asked to look at it slightly different than they would have in another jurisdiction, like Nevada.
“In the old set of rules, a takedown is almost like a kiss of death,” Allen said. “When you get a takedown, it typically counts for more.
“If you watch that fight under the new rules, Valentina was taken down but she was actually inflicting more damage from the bottom. I think we’re still in this transition of changing rules, where it’s one set one week and a different set the next week and no one is on the same page.
“That’s no criticism of any individual judge, that’s just the state of where we are right now.”
Allen refrained from using the term “robbery” while discussing Saturday, but said, “it’s obvious Valentina did not lose.”
“A robbery is when you go in and completely wipe someone out,” Allen said. “Would I say this is a ‘robbery’? No. But if you look at various online polls, which can also carry different biases, but I would say 65- to 70 percent of people think Valentina won.”
Shevchenko lost to Nunes in a three-round fight back at UFC 196 in March. Despite Shevchenko’s 0-2 record against the champion, Allen says he’s optimistic the UFC is open to a third fight. The two sides are scheduled to discuss Shevchenko’s future later this week.
She’s also a candidate to fight for the UFC’s 125-pound flyweight championship in 2018. The UFC opened that division this year and will crown an inaugural champion at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter reality series in December.
“Valentina’s next fight should be for a title,” Allen said. “She didn’t lose that fight, so we still view her as the No. 1 contender.”