Valentina Shevchenko believes she showed the difference between champion and challenger in her recent bout.
LAS VEGAS, NV — In Valentina Shevchenko’s opinion, her final title defense proved the difference between champion and challenger.
The long-time UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion faced what many believed to be her toughest fight against Tyla. Santos last year This fight was impressive enough that it was almost immediately picked up during UFC 285 media day ahead of Shevchenko’s return against Alexa Grasso.
“I think it’s a good fight and we’re definitely talking about a top-tier fight. Promoting the best mixed martial arts in the world. We are competing against all the best athletes,” Shevchenko told media outlets, including Cageside Press. “Not every bout will be an easy bout. But here’s the difference between a champion and a challenger. Because the champion, no matter how hard it is, will find a way to keep the championship.”
“This is what I showed in battle. No matter how hard it was, yes, it was harder than the previous fights. But I’m still a champion anyway.”
It is very rare to see Shevchenko struggling. Her victory over Santos came through a split decision. Memories of that performance have not faded, although Shevchenko is going up against Grasso, who is a strong favorite. Other opponents are lining up for “Bullet” – from Erin Blanchfield to talking about former UFC bantamweight Rin Nakai returning to the promotion.
.@ Rinnakai 2
Come back to.@UFC enter #Top 10 And I’m happy to check your skills 👊👊
Congratulations on your recent wins 👊 https://t.co/5cowJrWZz3
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) February 19, 2023
Nakai’s 10-fight win streak outside the UFC is an opponent Shechenko says she’s willing to fight. As long as Japanese female stars are still in the top ten for Blanchfield The champ felt it was too fast. maybe another fight maybe more It might be necessary for Blankfield in the battle for gold.
“I still believe if they put her [in the fight]That’s fine, but I still believe she’s not ready for the title fight,” she said.
After years of grueling training camps, Valentina Shevchenko continues to grow and continues to look for waves to further develop her skill set.
“The cool thing about martial arts is that you never stop improving. no matter how successful you are You’re ready to get better every day,” she told Cageside Press. There is something to improve after every fight.”
Shevchenko and her team sat down after every fight with that in mind and “see what we can add to my game. and we will act accordingly. This process never stops for me. So it’s natural for me. Every time I am looking for how I can get better.”
The flyweight champion discussed the overall improvement in women’s MMA over the past few years. “The level is very high right now. Now, we don’t just see style versus style, like wrestlers vs strikers — no, girls are perfect MMA fighters. They fight well in the thrashing. They fight well in wrestling. They fight well in ground games. This is an evolving sport and MMA, mixed martial arts, is the number one sport in the world right now.”
See the full UFC 285 media day appearance by Valentina Shevchenko above.