Valentina Shevchenko decides against bantamweight move: “At this moment, it’s not happening”

By Josh Evanoff - July 20, 2022

Despite her previous comments, UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will remain at 125-pounds.

Valentina Shevchenko

‘The Bullet’ is fresh off her split-decision victory over Talia Santos at UFC 275 last month. Despite entering the contest as a big favorite, Shevchenko faced the biggest challenge of her flyweight run. The champion was taken down multiple times in the opening rounds.

However, the 34-year-old was able to recover, and rally in the championship frames. Due to the late success, Shevchenko wound up retaining her title on the scorecards. Prior to the win over Santos, the women’s flyweight champion announced her intentions to move up in weight.

Valentina Shevchenko initially intended to face the winner of Julianna Pena’s rematch with Amanda Nunes at UFC 277 later this month. However, it seems that plans change. The Kyrgyzstan-native discussed her plans on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.

There, the 34-year-old revealed that she had changed her mind. Shevchenko plans to compete at flyweight for her next contest. The reason for the switch is the lack of big fights at bantamweight. Additionally, Shevchenko isn’t interested in adding the muscle, at the moment.

Valentina Shevchenko, UFC 266, Lauren Murphy

Valentina Shevchenko def. Lauren Murphy at UFC 266

“Y’know, to fight 135 right now, I have to build bigger muscles. I have to work on getting myself bigger, and then have to work on getting myself smaller, for flyweight. I really don’t see any ‘why’ I have to do that. Give me some reasons, big fights or whatever. But, what else? At this moment, it’s not happening. I think flyweight is the weight where I will do my next title defense.”

Valentina Shevchenko continued, “Let’s see, I hadn’t thought about that yet too clearly. It depends on what fight it’s going to be, how they will fight, and what they want to do… I feel comfortable at this moment, weight, body, what I have, without having to do extra cutting or adding weight. I would like to stay healthy as I am right now, and continue this journey.”

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UFC Valentina Shevchenko