Valentina Shevchenko (14-3 MMA) is one of the toughest and most talented fighters in the UFC.
“The Bullet” proved her grit last month when she challenged “The Lioness” Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Although Shevchenko suffered a controversial split-decision loss to Amanda Nunes at the September 9 event, her stock did nothing but rise in defeat.
The 29-year-old product of Tiger Muay Thai recently sat down with BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor and discussed the first-round injury she suffered in her UFC 215 championship fight with Nunes.
Shevchenko badly dislocated one of her fingers midway through the fights opening round and opted to hide the injury in fear that the referee may stop the contest.
“Yes I dislocated my finger in the middle of the first round,” Shevchenko told Taylor. “It was the finger on my left hand. It happened after some strikes. I noticed it right away. I was looking at my finger and the joint it was like pointing outside from the glove and I thought to myself ‘Oh my god’. I could not make a fist, I could not grapple, I really couldn’t do nothing with that arm. But my thought at that moment was like if I ask the referee to fix it, maybe he will stop the fight. So I was like no way. No way am I going to allow this fight to end like this. So I just waited for the round to end so I could then ask my corner to fix it. I used my range and kept distance in order to hide from everyone that I had this problem. I knew that if people saw it (the injury), the fight may have been stopped.”
When Shevchenko returned to her corner after the horn sounded to end round one, she immediately showed her coach who promptly snapped the finger back into place.
“When the round ended, I came back to my coach and I showed him the finger and he fixed it. I couldn’t believe it. I was able to make a fist again and I thought to myself ‘Ok, now it is time to fight’. So by the second-round I was able to fight like normal again.”
Taylor asked Valentina if it hurt when her coach snapped her finger back into place.
“At that moment, no. I was more concerned about if I could make a fist. So when I realized that I could it was a great moment for me. I knew I could fight. But, immediately after the fight when I came back to the training room and the adrenaline went down I could feel it. My finger and have of my fist got really swollen and started changing colors. It eventually turned black in color. But it didn’t matter because it was already after the fight.”
Taylor asked Valentina how her finger was doing now, weeks removed from the title fight.
“Now it is much better. I put on a lot of creams and took some anti inflammatory medication. I still cannot make a fist, but I am just letting it heal. I think in one or two weeks it will be fine.”
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