Valentina Shevchenko sends message to Nicco Montano: either you are fighting and defending or you should step out

Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko wants a shot at UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano. That could not be any clearer. Unfortunately for her, the fight has proven a little difficult to put together. This, of course, is not the fault of Montano, who has been recovering from a tonsillectomy. Yet Shevchenko seems to be getting tired of waiting all the same, arguing that if Montano is not healthy enough to fight, she should drop the belt.

“Not yet, we are not at that point [of Montano vacating the title],” Shevchenko said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour (transcribed by Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting) “but I think it would be very right to do things like this because if you are not ready to fight, if you don’t want to fight, you have to leave the belt — you cannot hold it.

“If you are feeling that you have health issues and you cannot fight for a long time you just have to leave it. When you come back you have a right to fight for this belt again. It’s not the right thing to just hold [the belt] and say it’s mine forever. Either you are fighting and defending or you should step out.”

While we know the cause of Montano’s absence is a legitimate health issue, Shevchenko says she is started to feel avoided.

“Yes, I feel a bit like she is [avoiding me], but I also think it could be her strategy,” Shevchenko said. “I don’t know if they have approached her for a date at the end of the summer, if not maybe she will accept it, but nobody can be sure if she will be fighting by then. Maybe at the very last second she could say that she still has some kind of injury and she cannot fight. Maybe it will happen, so I will continue to do my job and keep training.

“I think another part of her plan is her thinking that I will lose my patience and ask for another fight. Then I will fight another fight and she will be expecting that something will happen in this fight. I’m waiting for my title fight. It will happen.”

What do you think of these comments from Valentina Shevchenko?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/23/2018.