UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and top flyweight contender Valentina Shevchenko have previously engaged in two competitive scraps, with Nunes’ emerging the victor by a narrow margin on both occasions. While the grounds for a third fight would certainly seem to be there as a result, this is not something Nunes is interested in.
“I don’t care about [Shevchenko],” Nunes told MMAJunkie this week. “She’s, like, only Valentina. She’s going to talk about me. I’m the best, you know? That’s why she talks about me.”
“I beat her twice,” she continued. “She had her chance to try and beat me, clear. She did a couple of things in the [second] fight, but I don’t think she deserves the belt. She wasn’t able to hold me back that much in the cage. It was the same in the first fight.”
For the moment, Nunes’ focus is glued to her UFC 224 title defense opposite Raquel Pennington. Should she topple this challenge, she might then start considering fights in other divisions – perhaps even a flyweight rematch with Shevchenko.
“Right now, I’m really focused on this fight [with Pennington]; it’s very hard to talk about the next step,” Nunes said. “I have to go through this one first. But when you get in my position, I’m the best in my division. I think from here, you only want to prove yourself more and more. Going down to 125 and trying the 125 belt, or going up, this is the thing that sometimes you have to do to keep yourself in the top.
“Imagine if I beat the girls in the other divisions. That’s going to be huge for me. It’s going to be a lot of dreams come true. But right now, I’m focusing on this fight. This fight is a big fight in my career right now, and to keep this belt is more important to me.”
Does an Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko rematch interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/21/2018.