During her reign, Valentina Shevchenko has been about as flawless as any mixed martial artist can hope to be.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion has defended her title six times with a potential next being the one to tie Ronda Rousey for the most consecutively accumulated by a woman. After that, Shevchenko could see a return to her original UFC weight class where Rousey once ruled.
“I think so,” Shevchenko told MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour when asked if a move back to 135 was in her future. “There is always the chance. Definitely the bigger fight, the better.”
Shevchenko debuted on short notice in UFC at Bantamweight against Sarah Kaufman in Dec. 2015 and fought in the division a total of five times until dropping down to Flyweight — a weight the promotion didn’t have upon her arrival.
Her days at 135 saw “The Bullet” cross paths with both women currently competing for the title, Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes. While Shevchenko scored a second-round armbar submission victory against Pena in their Jan. 2017 encounter, Nunes bested Kyrgyzstan’s finest on two occasions — Shevchenko’s only UFC losses, one of which was for the title.
Most recently, Nunes dropped her Bantamweight title to Pena at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021 (watch highlights) and the two will now rematch at UFC 277 on July 30 in Dallas, Texas. If things line up properly, maybe Shevchenko will be awaiting the winner.
“I was not in shock,” Shevchenko said of Pena defeating Nunes. “Of course it was surprising, but I didn’t see Amanda in the same fight shape as she used to be in the fight. For example, when we fought together she was completely different eyes, different everything. In the Julianna fight she was a little bit more relaxed. I don’t know how she prepared for this fight, but she looked different.
“I think by the end of the year it’s going to be a good fight,” she said. “But also we have to see — Miesha Tate is coming to 125 in July. So many things can happen, many things can change. So yeah, I think it’s possible. It’s very, very, very possible.”
Shevchenko is next challenged by Taila Santos in the co-main event of UFC 275 on June 11, 2022, in Singapore.
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Author: Drake Riggs
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