clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC champ Valentina Shevchenko passes on celebrity boxing fad — ‘It’s a little bit of a downgrade’

UFC 255: Figueiredo v Perez Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Reigning UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko believes mixed martial arts (MMA) is superior to boxing because it requires a fighter to master multiple disciplines. That’s why “Bullet” won’t be jumping on the “Talky MMA vet with average following fights D-List celebrity” trend, because a transition to boxing would be considered a downgrade.

Not only in skill, but perhaps also in pay — at least for women — which is why boxing champions like Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano have both migrated to MMA.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“I have like 12 professional boxing fights and I did it,” Shevchenko told The MMA Hour. “I know exactly what it feels [like]. For me being UFC champion, fighting in mixed martial arts, the universal style, when the technique is everything, it’s like you actually know all kinds of martial arts. You are a perfect boxer, you are a perfect Muay Thai fighter, kickboxer, you are a perfect grappler, wrestler. You are everything. Everything in martial arts. It’s kind of like going to boxing ... you can, why not, but for me it’s a little bit of a downgrade.”

It may be a downgrade for Shevchenko, but it’s certainly proved to be an upgrade for aging MMA fighters like Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, who caught their second win in the “sweet science.”

Shevchenko (21-3) has captured seven straight fights since dropping down to the 125-pound weight class, four of which have ended by knockout or submission. Her next title defense comes against veteran bruiser Lauren Murphy in the UFC 266 co-main event later this month in Las Vegas (more on that event here).

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania