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Noche UFC’s Valentina Shevchenko never considered retirement after loss, hopes ‘to fight as long as I can’

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Valentina Shevchenko is on the cusp of regaining Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) women’s Flyweight title.

Noche UFC will be headlined by a highly-anticipated rematch between reigning champion, Alexa Grasso, who defends against her predecessor, Shevchenko, this weekend (Sat., Sept. 16, 2023). The fight will be Shevchenko’s rebound attempt after losing her title to Grasso via fourth round face crank (watch highlights) at UFC 285 in March 2023.

Grasso ended Shevchenko’s historic reign after defending the title seven consecutive times. Shevchenko, 35, has been training martial arts for essentially her whole life, dating back to age five when her mother started teaching her. Despite all her various accomplishments, “The Bullet” has no intention of concluding her career any time soon.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 79 On ESPN+

HIGH STAKES LIGHTWEIGHT MATCHUP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX on Sat., Sept. 23, 2023, with a high stakes 155-pound showdown as No. 6-ranked contender, Rafael Fiziev, takes on No. 7-seeded Mateusz Gamrot. In UFC Vegas 79’s co-main event, No. 12-ranked Featherweight contender, Bryce Mitchell, steps back into the Octagon against No. 13-seeded Dan Ige.

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

“I hope to fight as long as I can,” Shevchenko said at Noche UFC media day. “As long as my health will allow me. As long as my power and desire will allow me. But I really hope to continue this journey as long as I can.

“I remember, Monday [after the Grasso loss[, I already was texting my manager, Jennifer [Goldstein], ‘Please reach out to UFC and say I’m ready to step back [in] and continue to fight and have another fight.’ Never, not even one thought did I think about something else [like retiring]. Only fight.”

A win over Grasso would be Shevchenko’s 24th of her legendary 28-fight career and, in turn, would be the Mexican’s first defeat in six fights at Flyweight. Noche UFC will be the fifth event headlined by Shevchenko in 15 UFC fights.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Noche UFC fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest Noche UFC: “Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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