Cormier believes Shevchenko would’ve lost if not for that illegal headbutt against Taila Santos

It’s no secret that Taila Santos actually challenged Valentina Shevchenko. Santos came out looking strong straight from the gate and was winning the first two round based entirely on her jiu jitsu.

Longtime flyweight champ, Valentina Shevchenko was lagging behind and was playing catch up – that is until an unintentional headbutt clash caused Santos’ eye to completely shut in round 3.

It has since been confirmed that Taila Santos suffered a broken orbital bone – that she will require surgery to fix.

In rounds 4 and 5, Shevchenko rallied for a comeback. Her corner was very concerned after round 3 and had ominously told her she knows what to do.

Round 5 was the key. Shevchenko delivered a takedown and controlled Taila Santos on the ground. Santos struggled to get up and was dealing with a lot of eye issues.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t really see out of my right eye after it closed. I saw two Valentinas, I just tried hit in the middle.” she said afterwards.

Scorecards are something worth talking over – with one of the judges giving the bout 49 46 to Shevchenko despite underwhelming round 1.

Santos’ manager, spoke to MMA Fighting:

“We had two options,” Okamura began. “To have surgery here, and God knows how long we’d have to stay how (long) the recovery would take, or wait two weeks for the swelling to reduce a little bit and then have the surgery.”

“The doctors said the long flight (back to Santos’ country of Brazil) would not be a problem, and we would have a better support (system) back home, since (Santos) would only stay with one person (in Singapore).”

UFC Hall of famer Daniel Cormier blamed the headbutt for the fight outcome saying:

“(It was a) accidental clash of heads that ultimately, to me, really did determine how this fight was going to play out,” Cormier said during the UFC 275 post-fight show. “There is no reason for me to believe that anything was going to be different because every round Santos was able to do the same thing – get the takedown. … But in Round 4 and Round 5, Valentina showed her championship mettle. She showed that desire to retain that belt because she went forward, she threw caution to the wind, and she really did put it on Taila Santos.”