UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko says she is open to fighting former women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang at 125lbs.
Shevchenko had another extraordinary performance in the Octagon this past Saturday night at UFC 261 when she defeated Jessica Andrade via second-round TKO for her seventh straight win at 125lbs. Shevchenko has been absolutely running through everyone in her path in the flyweight division, and after beating Zhang, it’s hard to say who will be next.
While Shevchenko knows the winner of Lauren Murphy vs. Joanne Calderwood will likely be next in line to fight her for the belt, one name that is particularly intriguing is Zhang. The former UFC women’s strawweight champion dropped her belt in upset fashion at UFC 261 when she suffered a first-round head kick loss to Rose Namajunas. You now have to wonder what is next for Zhang, who appeared destined for a superfight with Shevchenko had she beaten Namajunas. Now, however, it’s hard to say what is next for her.
If you ask Shevchenko, however, just because Zhang lost to Namajunas doesn’t mean that she won’t be a potenial opponent at 125lbs. Speaking to James Lynch of LowKickMMA, Shevchenko said that she is still open to fighting Zhang despite her loss to Namajunas.
“If she wants to go to 125, who can stop her? Nobody can stop her? It’s her decision. It’s the same with Jessica Andrade. But she will have to have her fight to claim she’s ready for a title fight. This is how it’s supposed to be but yeah (I’m open to it),” Shevchenko said.
“I assume she’s going to have a rematch with Rose so this is what is going to be the next step. And after it, it is probably going to be something they will think about.”
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