Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s latest trip to Denver, Colorado, Kyrgyzstani striking specialist Valentina Shevchenko took on respected grappler Julianna Peña. Though Peña was expected to have a significant grappling edge in this purported style clash, Shevchenko instead flaunted her grappling chops, taking her foe down twice in the first round, and submitting her with a slick armbar in the second.
With this win, Shevchenko has earned herself a shot at the women’s bantamweight title, which is currently owned by Brazilian destroyer Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko and Nunes, of course, have plenty of history together, having collided less than a year ago. On that night, Nunes walked away with a competitive, unanimous decision win.
While the date and location of Shevchenko and Nunes’s title rematch is far from confirmed, the UFC quickly got to work promoting the bout by having Nunes join Shevchenko in the cage for a post-fight staredown. Unsurprisingly, the two top bantamweights quickly got talking, each assuring a dominant win in their anticipated do-over.
“I’m pretty sure the next fight will be a title shot,” Shevchenko said as she stared the champ down in the cage. “I’m very excited for this rematch and to take this belt.”
“You’re never going to do it,” Nunes rebutted. “We’re going to do it again, and I’m going to finish you and I’m going to prove that.”
“I always say ‘be careful with your words,’ because every time, it will come back to you,” Shevchenko threatened.
“I’m the champion because I say I’m the champion,” Nunes concluded. “And I will prove to you now I know how to beat you. I will do it.”
Watch the pair’s exchange in full at the top of this post.
Who do you have coming out on top when Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko rematch for the women’s bantamweight crown? Sound off in the comments’ section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/29/2017.