Saturday night (Nov. 21, 2020) at UFC 255, Valentina Shevchenko defended her women’s Flyweight title for the fourth time in a largely one-sided affair that never saw the champ in much danger. That’s good for Valentina ... not so good for fans wanting to see her challenged and pushed to her limits.
It’s a sentiment UFC President, Dana White, echoed during the post-fight press conference.
“Shevchenko is in a place in her career now where she needs an opponent that people think actually has a chance of beating her,” White said. “And I think we all know that Andrade does.
“Andrade is a very very good fight for her,” White continued. “That’s a tough fight. If you’re going to go out and be safe the first couple of rounds against somebody like Jennifer, what are you going to do against Andrade? Andrade is going to bring her a lot of things she’s never seen before. Not to mention the power that Andrade has. She just knocked a girl out, a really good girl, like the number two girl in the world, with a body shot. She’s a real problem for Shevchenko that she’ll have to figure out.”
“And if she does, I think the fight that makes sense is ... Weili Zhang will fight soon, and after Weili fights maybe you do those two. But I don’t know, just off the top of my head that’s what I’m thinking.”
As always, Shevchenko made it clear that she was willing to fight whoever UFC had in mind for her next ... so long as they don’t make her wait too long.
“I don’t choose my opponents, whoever is in front of me I’m going to face,” Shevchenko said. “So for me it doesn’t do any difference, Andrade or something else or whatever. I think it would be fair to have Andrade against Lauren Murphy because Lauren Murphy showed her strength and she has a lot of straight wins. But the question if I want to wait that much? I don’t want to wait that much because I’m already waiting a lot already and I not agreeing to wait more because they fight and they have to recover and then it’s a few months from here.
“I’m ready to go back into the Octagon as soon as I feel good, and I feel pretty good,” she continued.
As for a champ vs. champ “super” fight? Shevchenko sounded more interested in a third fight against Amanda Nunes once all this COVID-19 stuff is over.
“Since the second fight I didn’t lose — technically I lost but I don’t think I lost — I think the third fight [against Nunes] will be something big,” Shevchenko said. “So it has to be in the right time in the right place. And I would like to see it not without fans. With a lot of crowds. With a lot of energy. Because I know if it’s going to happen someday it’s going to be huge. Something huge.”
For complete UFC 255: “Figueiredo vs. Perez” results and play-by-play, click here.