Following Valentina Shevchenko’s vicious, knockout defense of the flyweight title earlier this month at UFC 238, more than a few people have stated they don’t see “Bullet” losing the belt anytime soon.
After all, not only did Shevchenko take out Jessica Eye in emphatic fashion, that victory followed her decision win over longtime 115 champ, Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Further, the only person to beat Shevchenko to date in the Octagon is featherweight and bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes. In their most recent fight in 2017, one judge awarded the fight to Shevchenko (Nunes won their 2016 bout via UD). Then of course, there’s the fact Shevchenko had a remarkable kickboxing career, and she’s also demonstrated she’s a considerable threat on the ground as well.
So what does flyweight contender Paige VanZant think?
“I am going to be real honest. She is terrifying. I plan on being in the UFC, training forever. She will probably retire before I fight for the title, to be totally honest,” said VanZant.
“I am only 25 so I want to work my way up. As far as anyone I see right now to dethrone her, no there is nobody.”
“…Her striking is absolutely next-level and she is so methodical and technical in her striking. It’s like nothing I have ever seen before. So I am working on being like her. I want striking like hers. So, congrats to the champ, it was just an awesome performance.”
Yup. Not only is Shevchenko the consensus best flyweight on the planet, she’s one of the greatest fighters in the game. The 31 year-old champ’s only other loss in MMA was against Liz Carmouche, but that was way back in 2010 (and via doctor stoppage).
But, as MMA history has shown us, time and time again, anyone’s beatable, on any given night. All this aside, it will be interesting to see who the UFC taps to face Shevchenko next. As it stands right now, it looks like the #2 ranked Katlyn Chookagian is the front runner.