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Valentina Shevchenko sees possible second crack at 135-pound title by year’s end: ‘There is always the chance’

UFC 215: Nunes v Shevchenko 2 Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

During her reign, Valentina Shevchenko has been about as flawless as any mixed martial artist can hope to be.

The women’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion has defended her title six times with a potential next being the one to tie Ronda Rousey for the most consecutively accumulated by a woman. After that, Shevchenko could see a return to her original UFC weight class where Rousey once ruled.

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BLOCKBUSTER CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLEHEADER! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) International Fight Week returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., July 2, 2022, capped by a stacked card headlined by a blockbuster championship double header. In UFC 276’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event, reigning Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, defends his crown against No. 2-ranked contender, Jared Cannonier. In the co-main event, Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, has his sights set on successfully defending his title once again against No. 1-seeded contender, Max Holloway, for the third (and likely final) time.

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“I think so,” Shevchenko told MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour, when asked if a move back to 135 pounds was in her future. “There is always the chance. Definitely the bigger fight, the better.”

Shevchenko debuted on short notice in UFC at Bantamweight against Sarah Kaufman in Dec. 2015 and fought in the division a total of five times until dropping down to Flyweight — a weight the promotion didn’t have upon her arrival.

Her days at 135 pounds saw “The Bullet” cross paths with both women currently competing for the title, Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes. While Shevchenko scored a second round armbar submission victory against Pena in their Jan. 2017 encounter, Nunes bested Kyrgyzstan’s finest on two occasions — Shevchenko’s only UFC losses, one of which was for the title.

Most recently, Nunes dropped her Bantamweight title to Pena at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021 (watch highlights) and the two will now rematch at UFC 277 on July 30, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.

If things line up properly, maybe Shevchenko will be awaiting the winner.

“I was not in shock,” Shevchenko said of Pena defeating Nunes. “Of course, it was surprising, but I didn’t see Amanda in the same fight shape as she used to be in the fight. For example, when we fought together she was completely different eyes, different everything. In the Julianna fight she was a little bit more relaxed. I don’t know how she prepared for this fight, but she looked different.

“I think by the end of the year it’s going to be a good fight,” she said. “But, also we have to see — Miesha Tate is coming to 125 in July. So many things can happen, many things can change. So yeah, I think it’s possible. It’s very, very, very possible.”

Shevchenko is next challenged by Taila Santos in the co-main event of UFC 275 on June 11, 2022, in Singapore.


Who would you rather see Valentina Shevchenko fight again?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Julianna Pena
    (226 votes)
  • 64%
    Amanda Nunes
    (415 votes)
641 votes total Vote Now