Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, quickly shut down way-too early chatter of a potential “champion vs champion” showdown against strawweight title holder, Weili Zhang.
According to “Bullet,” Zhang has yet to prove herself, despite winning the title after knocking out Jessica Andrade in less than one minute. And since mere “lucky circumstances” allowed “Magnum” to skip the championship line, Shevchenko wasn’t about to let her do the same at 125 pounds.
A few days removed from Zhang’s epic title fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 (see it), Shevchenko hopes Weili and her team reconsider wanting to fight her, since they now see what can happen when you level up in competition.
“Her manager was like planning this match up,” Shevchenko said during a recent interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “This was probably his dream match up a while ago. So I think after this fight they will change their mind.
“Now they can feel what is the real competition,” she continued. “Because all her opponents that were before, they are different, they are so different. All the other opponents, it was not that high level of competition. But now that she is in real competition, the real top-level, they feel how difficult it is. They really feel what it means the real level of competition, the real level of MMA fighters.”
While everyone is focusing on Jedrzejczyk’s huge hematoma, it’s not like Zhang left the cage unscathed, as she was also the recipient of some bumps and bruises along the way courtesy of the former champ. That said, Shevchenko was impressed by the fight, and has nothing bad to say about Jedrzejczyk and Zhang’s respective performances.
“I think it was very entertaining fight and both ladies give everything they had to win, for the victory of this fight," she said. “And definitely it was a very good fight between two strong female fighters. It took a lot of character to go all these five rounds and I think the MMA and fan community, they enjoyed watching this fight.”
Still, “Bullet” — who has a win over Jedrzejczyk and has been deemed the closest thing to a “perfect” fighter by Joe Rogan — is adamant she is still a class above Zhang.
Do you agree?