EXCLUSIVE | New champ Valentina Shevchenko shares her plans for 2019

Valentina Shevchenko, Conor McGregor
Image: Valentina Shevchenko on Instagram (@byritos @mila_makhetova @marchyn)

At long last, Valentina Shevchenko has captured the thing she’s been chasing: The UFC flyweight belt. Shevchenko earned this title with a dominant decision victory over former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 earlier this month.

Looking back on the fight, Valentina Shevchenko says she’s pleased not only with her own performance, but with Jedrzejczyk’s. She believes that, together, they showcased the true art of fighting.

“I’m very happy that this fight happened against Joanna because it was really good fight and we did both of us, we did everything that we had, and we just showed the high level of fight, of technique, of spirit, of everything,” Shevchenko told host Jason Kindschy on episode 108 of BJPENN Radio. “And I watched back the fight and I saw everything from first round, and I can say exactly, me and Joanna, we show not just a fight, not just a regular fight. We show the art of the fight.”

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With this title win in the books, Valentina Shevchenko now plans to enjoy the Holidays with family. Come the new year, however, it’s back to the grind.

“Just enjoy my time, to have good celebration of Christmas and New Year,” she said of her immediate plans. “And, then of course with much more power and much more energy, go to 2019 and do whatever I want to do”

As far as challengers for her first title defense go, Valentina Shevchenko isn’t choosy. She’ll take on whoever the UFC deems the number-one contender. Her main priority is staying active and hanging onto the title for as long as she can.

“You know, I’m ready for anyone and I just want to hold the belt long time,” she said. “This is why I’m here, and this is the main reason why I wanted to hold [the belt], because now, I don’t have to wait on no one. I don’t have to wait [for] when my opponent accepts the fight. [I don’t have to wonder] ‘will she want to’ or what she’s thinking in her head. So, this is, for me, the most beautiful part.”

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“I want to be active, I want to fight, doesn’t matter who, just fight,” she added. “And this is what I will do in 2019, just fight and perform, as good, as best as I can.

“Now I don’t have any injury and I have to rest just a little bit emotionally, and just give a little bit rest to my body and then I’m ready to go to the training again and prepare for the fight,” she concluded. “[I want to fight] as much as I can, this is I know for sure.”

Who do you want to see the new UFC women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko fight in her first title defense?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/17/2018.

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This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM