Valentina Shevchenko still has unfinished business in her old weight class.
Few fighters have been as technically flawless as Shevchenko in their mixed martial arts (MMA) careers. “The Bullet” is truly one of the few all-time greats who does everything about as soundly as could be hoped for. The reigning Flyweight queenpin’s record isn’t spotless, however, last tasting defeat at 135 pounds in her rematch with Amanda Nunes in Sept. 2017.
Two of Shevchenko’s three career losses came against the reigning Bantamweight and Featherweight titlist, Nunes, with their first meeting coming one year before the rematch. A unanimous decision loss preceded an ever-competitive split decision and nine wins later, Shevchenko still anticipates the trilogy.
“I do think I will move [back] up, yeah. I do think it’s going to happen someday,” Shevchenko said with a laugh at UFC 285 media day. “[A Nunes trilogy] is the only one reason why I should move up.
“This time, it has to go my way. No matter what,” she laughed. “I think will have to do everything that I have to do to win the fight because it’s kind of like what I expect from myself. I think that our second fight that we had, I don’t think I lost that fight, and I rewatched it several times. I still think it should go a different way.”
Before Shevchenko can get her third crack at “The Lionness,” she’ll have to vanquish Alexa Grasso this weekend (Sat., March 4, 2023) in UFC 285’s co-main event. A win will mark a historic eighth consecutive title defense for Shevchenko, who feels that keeping the title could be a crucial key in a possible third Nunes bout.
“If it would be like champion versus champion, no doubt judges would give victory to my side,” Shevchenko said. “That time, it was a different situation, different circumstances, that’s why what has happened has happened. When the trilogy’s going to happen, it’s going to be everything completely new.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 285 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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