Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is a Kyrgyz Muay Thai Fighter and mixed martial artist who was supposed to face current champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) on July 8th in the women’s bantamweight division of the UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The two fighters were no strangers to each other and have met once before in March at UFC 196, with Nunes claiming a unanimous decision win. In order to gain a rematch and title shot, Valentina Shevchenko had to beat ex-champ Holly Holm and contender Julianna Pena. Valentina might have lost her first bout against Nunes, but it has only made her more ferocious as a fighter.
Nunes and Shevchenko met again in May during their “UFC Summer Kickoff” press conference taking place just a few weeks before their main-event’s scheduled rematch. An image circulated the internet showing Nunes’ hand laying on Shevchenko’s face. Valentina Shevchenko handled the incident like a boss and later said that Nunes couldn’t control her nerves because of all the pressure and attention.
Just three hours prior to the UFC 213 Vegas event, news broke that Nunes had been hospitalized earlier in the day and would not be able to compete in her anticipated rematch against Valentina Shevchenko. Devastated Shevchenko believes that Nunes attempted a rapid weight cut that was supposed to give her a physical advantage in her title defence fight. When it didn’t go as planned, Valentina Shevchenko said she pulled out. It has now been confirmed that Amanda Nunes will defend her featherweight title against Valentina Shevchenko in Edmonton’s UFC 215 on September 9th.
Valentina Shevchenko told us, “My goal is to be the champion in my division. And it doesn’t matter how strong my opponent is, I am stronger.”