Valentina Shevchenko interested in fighting for women’s bantamweight title again
Valentina Shevchenko is set to defend her women’s flyweight title for the seventh time at UFC 275 on June 11. She takes on the tough No. 4-ranked Taila Santos, but the sports betting doesn’t give Santos much of a chance. She’s a +550 underdog to Shevchenko’s -800 favorite, which is what the odds will look like with “Bullet” dominating the division for nearly five years.
If Shevchenko wins, there is a lot of speculation that she could gain weight to face the winner of the women’s bantamweight title bout Julianna Pena against Amanda Nunes at UFC 277 on July 30. In a new interview with MMA hourValentina Shevchenko confirmed she was interested saying:
“I think so. There’s always a chance. There’s always a chance and the bigger the fight the better. I think by the end of the year it will be a good fight. But also, we have to see… Miesha Tate comes in at 125 [pounds] in July. So many things can happen, so many things can change. I think that it is possible. It’s very, very, very possible.”
On whether Valentina Shevchenko would try to defend both belts if she won, ‘Bullet’ said:
“One step at a time. I do the move first and then I think about the next shot I’m going to do.”
Watch Valentina Shevchenko discuss moving up to women’s bantamweight to fight for a title below:
Shevchenko has a lot of history with Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena. She is 0-2 against Nunes, having lost a three-round decision to ‘The Lioness’ in 2016 and a five-round title fight in 2017. She fared better against Pena, beating l current women’s bantamweight champion via armband in 2017.
Valentina Shevchenko steps in for Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes rematch at UFC 277
When asked what she thought of Amanda Nunes’ upset loss to Julianna Pena in December 2021, Valentina Shevchenko admitted that it wasn’t surprising to her given Nunes’ appearance during the fight week. She said MMA hour:
“I wasn’t shocked. Of course it was surprising, but the other thing, I didn’t see Amanda in the same fighting form that she used to be in the fight For example, when we fought together, she had completely different eyes, everything different For Juliana’s fight, she looked a little more relaxed, I don’t know how she prepared for this fight but she looked different.
As for the rematch, Shevchenko said:
“It depends on the mental shape they are going to have. I will say that with Julianna Pena, she is the champion now, there is a lot more attention. It can affect your mental preparation. At the same time, Amanda , we don’t know what’s going on, maybe the family, maybe it’s either. So it can also be the preparation that she may have. But I will say that if they are both very ready for the fight, want to fight, want to be in the fight, I would say Amanda will take the rematch.”