The formation of the UFC’s women’s flyweight division is beginning to attract stars of all shapes and sizes. Fighters from both the strawweight and bantamweight rosters are already making noise in hopes of earning a quick shot at the 125-pound title.
While the inaugural women’s flyweight champion will be crowned at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter Season 26, that hasn’t stopped some of the sport’s more polarizing female fighters from throwing their hats into the cage.
Despite an injury that knocked her out of her flyweight debut opposite Jessica Eye at UFC 216, former women’s strawweight contender Paige VanZant is already proclaiming that her first bout at 125 pounds will be for a world title.
My next fight is against the winner of the 125 division Ultimate Fighter. Don’t blink.— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) November 5, 2017
As you could have imagined, Eye wasn’t too happy to learn that VanZant is planning a future title shot before re-booking their enticing matchup. Unfortunately for “12 Gauge,” Eye isn’t the only former bantamweight looking to stop her from fighting for gold, as former women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko tweeted out the following message earlier this week:
In addition, Shevchenko’s manager spoke with BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor and stated that “Bullet” would like to return early next year.
“January sounds like a good month,” said Shevchenko’s manager. “Mid to late January.”
VanZant has yet to respond to Shevchenko’s callout and rightfully so. Shevchenko is a bona fide beast inside of the cage and a fighter who will presumably clean up at a lower weight class. If PVZ would happen to defeat Shevchenko, she’ll undoubtedly earn her shot at flyweight gold.
Assuming UFC wants to attract someone of Shevchenko’s caliber to a growing women’s flyweight division, the promotion may want to grant the Russian her wish. A title elimination bout between “Bullet” and VanZant only does good for a 125-pound class in a state of infancy.