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'I will come back stronger': UFC's Antonina Shevchenko defiant as she shows off war wounds from bruising defeat

'I will come back stronger': UFC's Antonina Shevchenko defiant as she shows off war wounds from bruising defeat
UFC flyweight Antonina Shevchenko will be licking her wounds on Sunday morning after suffering a clear loss to Katlyn Chookagian in Las Vegas, but she says that she will return to the octagon as a better fighter.

Chookagian gained a measure of revenge against the Shevchenko clan in the fight after she was defeated by Antonina's younger sister Valentina in a flyweight world title bout in February.

The American fighter wasn't to suffer a second successive defeat to the sisters, as she dominated the elder Shevchenko throughout three rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.

When the scores were read out, it was a clear win for Chookagian by a score of 30-25 on all three cards. It is a win which places Chookagian firmly back into the conversation for world title opportunities at flyweight, while for Shevchenko it is back to the drawing board.

"MMA is a tough sport, but it’s my destiny and I will come back stronger," Shevchenko wrote on Instagram as she shared the cuts and bruises sustained in the encounter.  

Shevchenko was on the back foot from the off. Chookagian, who was heralded as a significant threat on the feet going into the fight, appeared to catch Shevchenko off guard with an early takedown - and it seemed that the  Kyrgyzstani-born Peruvian was playing catch-up from that point on.

The second round continued much as the first. Chookagian found a dominant position and took maximum advantage, opting to forgo the opportunity to seek a submission in favor of continuing a barrage of short shots on the ground.

Shevchenko had some opportunities in a third round which took place mostly on the feet but, with the pace continually dictated by the American and the scorecards too distant from each other, the result of the fight was a clear one.

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Revenge for her world title defeat to Valentina Shevchenko has been attained but instead of issuing a challenge in her post-fight interview, Chookagian instead opted for something a little softer.

"Honestly, I still have so much fight fever but I’m also starting to get a little baby fever," she said. "So I’m just trying to get these fights in as fast as I can."