Former bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko made her mark on the flyweight division in a big way, slaughtering her opponent Priscila Cachoeira in a lopsided two round fight that saw her outstrike the UFC newcomer 230 to 3. Much of the conversation after the fight has surrounded referee Mario Yamasaki’s decision to let the fight go as long as it did, but there’s no doubt that Shevchenko has the attention of the rest of the women in her division.
Afterwards in the cage Shevchenko called out flyweight champ Nicco Montano, and she expanded her thoughts on competing for the title in her post fight interview.
“Just one name on my mind right now, it’s Nicco,” Shevchenko said. “I was not thinking about no one else. It’s enough time, I feel she has to be good now.”
”Yes, I wanted it from the beginning to have a fight for the title with Nicco, but I knew that she was injured,” she said. “She has to have a little bit of time to recover. Now I think it’s enough time and I think we are ready to do it ... About the belt, that’s not my dream, that’s my job. It’s just the reality. I’m going to get the title at some point.”
Montano has been recovering from a foot injury sustained during her title fight against Roxanne Modafferi at The Ultimate Fighter finale on December 1st. Earlier reports had her return pegged sometime early 2018, and given Shevchenko absorbed all of three strikes, a title fight could come sooner rather than later.
Montano will likely come into the fight a heavy underdog given her 4-2 record, and many are already wondering whether we might witness a repeat of the domination we witnessed at UFC Belem. Shevchenko established herself as a serious force at 125 pounds, and is probably just the first of several killers set to migrate into the new division. Suffice to say it’s going to be interesting watching the weightclass develop, and painful for those who don’t keep up with the rising tide of talent.