Saturday night, the UFC returned with UFC on Fox 20: Holm vs. Shevchenko. The event marked Holly Holm’s first fight back since losing her bantamweight crown to Miesha Tate in March. Would Holm bounce back into the win column against the lesser known Valentina Shevchenko? Could Shevchenko pull off the upset?

Elsewhere on the card, Gilbert Melendez made his return to action against the always dangerous Edson Barboza, and popular women’s strawweight fighter Felice Herrig met Kailin Curran.

Check back at fight time for a main card summary and full results!

Main Card Summary

Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Round 1 — Shevchenko landed a leg kick to open the action. A second. Holm was looking to find her range. The Russian fighter forced Holm to come to her, but when Holm did, she connected with a right that rocked Shevchenko! They moved back to the center of the cage. Shevchenko continued to employ the same strategy, but looked a little more wary of Holm’s power. Holm with a number of kicks but Shevchenko managed to take the fight to the mat with a throw. Holm right back to her feet! Holm landed several knees along the cage. Solid first round.

Round 2 — Holm and Shevchenko traded kicks to open the second round. Not a lot landed through the first minute of the round. Shevchenko clinched, perhaps looking for a takedown, and wound up reversed on the fence and held in place. Off the break, Holm looked to eat a shot. Shevchenko continued to work an inside leg kick. Spinning back fist by Shevchenko was blocked at least in part by Holm. Side kick to the thigh landed by Holm. Shevchenko landed a right. Shevchenko started to look a little more confident in her strikes. Holm answered back.  Holm caught her foe with a short right off an exchange, but the damage seemed limited. An exchange of leg kicks took us to the end of the round.

Round 3 — Shevchenko continued to work the leg kicks to open the third. Holm was playing a counter game. Front kick high almost landed on Holm’s face. Superman punch attempted by Shevchenko missed. Holm seemed to be eating shots every time she moved in. Shevchenko scored a takedown but Holm quickly got back up. Holm had a cut above her right eye. Another takedown by Shevchenko followed. This time she managed to keep Holm down, staying in half guard. Shevchenko began to land some short punches/open palm strikes. Not a lot of progress though she threw in a knee to the body and a few more head strikes. Holm held on until Shevchenko managed to make some space with around thirty seconds left and land some ground n’ pound with elbows.

Round 4 — Shevchenko looked to build off a solid third. Holm started out more aggressive in the fourth, but Shevchenko continued to show no respect for her power/standup. Spinning kick missed by Shevchenko. Holm took a big swing that was easily timed by her opponent, who landed a counter. Shevchenko launched a sloppy shot easily stuffed by Holm. Holm stuffed another shot and landed a kick to the body on the break. A left hand by Holly followed. Superman punch by Shevchenko was next, but didn’t do much damage.

Round 5  — Felt like anyone’s fight in the fifth. Shevchenko continued to force Holm to come to her. Holm’s right leg was very red from the number of kicks absorbed. Spinning kick by Shevchenko. Holm with a solid kick of her own. Wheel kick by Shevchenko landed. Shevchenko looked for a superman punch which Holm countered. In the final minute, Holm looked to try to make something happen, no doubt suspecting she was down on the scorecards. They’d take it to the end and go to the scorecards.

Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez

Round1 — Barboza took the center of the cage early, while Melendez responded with combos, charging forward with one. Melendez was giving up lots of distance, respectful of Barboza’s kicks. Melendez threw a front kick of his own, and looked to add some body shots to his combos. Melendez caught a kick and pushed his opponent back to the fence, finishing with a knee. Barboza grazed the body with a spinning back kick. A left hook by Melendez came next. Melendez ducked a punch and landed a combo. With a minute left they began trading with both fighters landing some solid punches alongside the fence. Back to the middle with thirty seconds to go, Melendez continued to move in with combos and back out of range quickly. Barboza finished the round with a jump knee to the body.

Round 2 — Melendez continued to try to quickly close distance in the second. Both fighters were still light on their feet. Melendez shot in but couldn’t land it and wound up on his back eating some leg kicks. Eventually Melendez was stood up. Barboza landed a solid leg kick shortly after. A hard leg kick felled Melendez. More kicks followed. Melendez showed signs that his leg was bothering him. Barboza landed a switch kick to the body, mixing things up. Melendez rocked Barboza with a right! Moved in on the attack Both fighters exchanging, then Melendez shot for a double leg. Stuffed, and they moved back to the center of the cage. The pace slowed just a tad towards the end of the round. Melendez slipped a punch and later threw a kick of his own only to be taken down. Barboza landing bombs from the top as the round ended.

Round 3 — More leg kicks from Barboza started the round. Melendez in serious pain from those. Another leg kick. Melendez was having a hard time cutting distance due to the damage to his legs. Melendez was almost hopping at this point to not put pressure on them. Melendez with a sloppy shot that was stuffed. They exchange but Barboza still added a leg kick to the end of the exchange. Barboza at that point was able to stay outside and pick his shots. Melendez needed a finish. Moved in to land a few punches as the seconds wound down, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Francis Ngannou vs. Bojan Mihajlović

Round 1 — A lot of feeling out early, with Bojan circling out of range. Ngannou just misses with a right, tried to cut angles then landed some big shots. Mihajlovic went down and Ngannou followed up with massive hammer fists as his opponent covered up. Herb Dean waved it off, and Ngannou has another UFC win! Mihajlovic not happy with the stoppage.

Francis Ngannou def. Bojan Mihajlović by TKO, Round 1, 1:34

Felice Herrig vs. Kailin Curran

Round 1 — Meeting in the middle, the two fighters exchanged kicks early. Curran found a home for her jab as Herrig pushed forward with combos. Felice with some kicks, and began landing her jab as well. Curran landed a good shot that stunned Herrig but Herrig caught a kick and took her down. Herrig passed guard easily and took the back as Curran regained her feet, looking for the rear-naked choke. She pulled Curran to the ground and worked to secure the choke under the chin. Curran stuck it out for a while but was forced to tap. Huge win by Herrig!

Felice Herrig def. Kailin Curran by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 1:59

Full Results

Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Francis Ngannou def. Bojan Mihajlović by TKO, Round 1, 1:34
Felice Herrig def. Kailin Curran by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 1:59

Preliminary Card (Fox)

Eddie Wineland def. Frankie Saenz by TKO, Round 3, 1:54
Darren Elkins def. Godofredo Pepey by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Kamaru Usman def. Alexander Yakovlev by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)
Michel Prazeres def. J.C. Cottrell by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

Alex Oliveira def. James Moontasri by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
Jason Knight def. Jim Alers by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Luis Henrique def. Dmitry Smoliakov by submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2, 3:58

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.