The nation of Kyrgyzstan officially has their first ever UFC champion and that’s the “Bullet,” Valentina Shevchenko.
On December 8, 2018, at UFC 231 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Shevchenko won the vacant UFC flyweight championship by defeating former strawweight queen, Joanna Jedrzejczyk via dominant unanimous decision.
Over the weekend, Shevchenko returned to her native country of Kyrgyzstan for a homecoming tour in Bishkek. On Monday, Shevchenko was greeted by the Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov who awarded her with the government’s medal of glory.
In addition to the government’s medal of glory award, Shevchenko also received another master of sport award for her victory at UFC 231. The win marked her fifth in the UFC and her 16th overall in her career. It was undeniably her biggest yet and the celebration tour reflects just that.
Prior to Shevchenko’s capturing of the gold, she was having trouble nailing down a date with the inaugural champion of the division, Nicco Montano and only fought once within the span of roughly 13 months. Now with that all behind her, she looks to be an active fighting champion as she has recently signed a new deal with the UFC that is believed to make that desire come to fruition.
First on her list of future opponents will be Jessica “Evil” Eye who challenges Shevchenko at UFC 238 in Chicago, Illinois on June 8.
As Shevchenko looks to successfully defend her title for the very first time, Eye will look to make all her hard work pay off as she has rebounded tremendously since going 1-5 in the bantamweight division. She currently rides a three-fight winning streak over the likes of Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica-Rose Clark, and Kalindra Faria.
The flyweight title match-up will be the evening’s co-main event as the vacant bantamweight title bout between Marlon Moraes and current flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo is set to follow.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/8/2019