Last weekend, in the main event of UFC 215, Kyrgyzstani striking specialist Valentina Shevchenko came up inches short in a back-and-forth battle with women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, losing a split decision.
While Shevchenko has repeatedly shared her disappointment with this decision, and assured she’ll fight Nunes again, she recently told Submission Radio that her next fight is likely to be in the UFC’s new women’s flyweight division.
“YOU KNOW, NOW I’M THINKING TO MOVE TO 125, AND I THINK MORE PROBABLY MY NEXT FIGHT IT WILL BE IN THIS DIVISION 125,” SHEVCHENKO SAID (H/TPETER CARROLL OF MMAFIGHTING.COM).
“BECAUSE 125 IS LIKE MUCH CLOSER WEIGHT FOR ME, IT’S MY REAL WEIGHT CATEGORY, AND EVEN AT LIKE 135 I FEEL COMFORTABLE AND I FEEL LIKE 125 I WILL BE ABLE TO USE ALL MY TECHNIQUES AND ALL MY SKILLS BECAUSE I WILL FIGHT WITH THE SAME-SIZED OPPONENTS AS ME.”
While flyweight is now looking like the plan for the talented Valentina Shevchenko, she also once again assured there’s another fight with Nunes in her future.
“OF COURSE I DO, BECAUSE IT’S STILL ON MY PLANS TO GO BACK AND FIGHT AGAINST AMANDA AGAIN,” SHE SAID WHEN ASKED ABOUT FUTURE BANTAMWEIGHT FIGHTS. “AND FROM THE NEXT TIME, NOT GIVE ANY CHANCE TO MAKE THIS LIKE THIS DECISION THAT WAS MADE A FEW DAYS AGO. AND OF COURSE IT’S ON MY MIND AND I STILL WANT IT. NOT RIGHT NOW, NOT IN THE NEAR FUTURE, BUT I DEFINITELY IT WILL HAPPEN.”
Valentina Shevchenko has gone 3-2 since joining the UFC roster, with both her losses being close decisions opposite Amanda Nunes. In that stretch, she’s defeated top-flight foes in Sarah Kaufman, Holly Holm and Julianna Pena.
Given that UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is also considering a move to flyweight, the division is suddenly looking like it could evolve into an absolute shark tank.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 9/13/2017.