Last weekend, Nicco Montano and Roxanne Modafferi stepped into the Octagon to compete in the first ever UFC women’s flyweight title fight. After five, fun, back and forth rounds, Montano came out on top, making history as the first female flyweight champ in UFC history. Unsurprisingly, long-time women’s bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko, who could well be the next flyweight title challenger, was watching closely.
“I was watching the fight,” Shevchenko said on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. “It was a very good fight, a very entertaining fight. It was five rounds, no talk, not one girl wanted to quit and both girls put all the heart that they had [out there]. My number one goal, like it was before, and it still right now, is to be the champion of UFC, and I’m very glad that now we have one more weight class, 125. It’s my natural weight class, and I feel like fighting in this 125 [division], I will have more opportunity to show more skills, more technique, because it’s different when you have to fight with bigger sized opponent and it’s different when you have to fight with the same sized opponent. It doesn’t matter for me because in 135 I was feeling the same good. I was feeling very strong there and everything was great. But I feel for 125, it’s more natural weight class for me.”
Valentina Shevchenko then broke down a possible fight with the new champion Montano. While this is what she wants next, she’s also not keen to wait around.
“Of course it will be a good match, because she is the title holder and this is what I want, nothing less. But I know that she received an injury in her last fight, that’s why she cannot compete for a while, and I don’t want just to wait. I want to fight because this is my lifestyle, this is what I like to do. I don’t want to just sit and wait. I don’t want to sit for one year waiting for something.”
“I will fight everyone,” she continued. “It doesn’t matter who, because I never was choosing my opponents. Every time I was like, ‘okay, I will fight, sure I will fight.’ It doesn’t matter who for me, because I am a fighter. I have to show that I am the best one, and to show whatever they will give me. Of course, I saw a lot of very skillful girls [on Friday’s card], and they have very high level technique. Now I see that MMA, and all girls who fight in MMA, it’s not only some striking against some grappling, no, it’s already [complete] fighter, MMA fighter, it’s universal fighter. They have to know everything, how to strike and how to grapple and how to wrestle. This is the most important. In that show on Friday, I saw that all girls from there, it’s already not only one style. It’s exactly MMA style, and this is why I enjoy watching it. It’s skills from different [martial arts], not only from one.”
Do you think Valentina Shevchenko will capture the UFC flyweight title?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/12/2017.