Valentina Shevchenko earned a unanimous decision win over former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm at UFC on Fox 20 in one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Holm broke her hand during the fight, something that affected her performance, but according to Holm in an interview with The MMA Hour, a lack of mental preparation also caused her to lose the fight. (Credit to MMA Fighting for the transcript)
"We had the right game plan, I just didn’t perform it," she said. "A lot of what [Shevchenko] was throwing were counter-hooks and things like that. We knew that was going to be there, there was nothing that should have shocked me or anything. She’s very tough, I take nothing away from her. But breaking my thumb was not why I lost the fight. I threw an overhand, I know what punch it is if I watch the fight, and I’m pretty sure it was in the fourth round. I threw an overhand and I caught nothing but thumb, and I just thought I jammed it. I thought, ew, this might hurt later. And I threw another one and though, oh no, yeah, that one’s real bad."
Holm had a game plan that she put together with the team at Jackson/Winklejohn, but she didn't follow it when she entered the octagon.
"The game plan that we had was definitely the game plan that would work, and I just really didn’t capitalize on that," she said. "I always say that when I get in there I want to make sure and make the most of it at that time, and not wait until the fight’s over and say I wish I woulda, coulda, shoulda. Well, that’s exactly what happened this time. So it is very frustrated for me, but a learning experience at that. And I choose to always want to learn from my experiences. I don’t want to sit back and sulk or make excuses. That’s just not me or how I am, but yeah, it was a frustrating night for me. But I want to push to do better."
Whether it was the broken thumb or a lack of mental preparation that lead to her loss at UFC On Fox 20, Holm isn't making any excuses.
"No, I never put an excuse on anything," she said. "I just didn’t perform well, and that’s all there is to it. I felt great. I felt physically fine. I had great training, everything in our game plan was good. So, there’s no excuse. I’m not going to say I took anything too soon, or any reason why, I just didn’t perform well."
Neither Holm nor Shevchenko have another fight lined up, but Holm has stated in other interviews that she wants to fight by the end of the year.