VALENTINA THINKS ZHANG SHOULD EARN A SUPERFIGHT
Valentina Shevchenko is blazing a path of her own in the UFC’s flyweight division. Although Valentina respects the performance displayed by Weili Zhang against Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzhen, Valentina made it clear that if a super fight were to occur, Zhang would have to earn it first.
Zhang’s performance at UFC Shenzhen earned her the strawweight title in dominating fashion. She dismantled former champ Jesica Andrade in less than one minute to become the first Chinese champion in UFC history.
Shevchenko on Meeting Zhang in the Cage
While Valentina respects Zhang is an incredible fighter, she also believes she needs to earn it. She spoke to MMA Junkie about meeting Zhang inside of the octagon.
“I think to get this right, she has to prove (herself in the octagon),” Shevchenko said to MMA Junkie. “You have to fight with the best ones. Like Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), Rose (Namajunas), Tatiana (Suarez). (Zhang) has to prove that she belongs here. She can’t just jump over (all contenders). She jumped once to face Jessica Andrade, but it was once. Now she has time to really show her skills.”
Timing Must Be Right
Even though Valentina is a firm believer in the right contenders getting their shot, she didn’t shy away from fighting Zhang. She just wants the timing to be right and for Zhang to build her credibility before she gets a shot to make history as a double champion.
“I think she’s a good fighter, but she still didn’t fight with the best ones in her weight class,” Shevchenko said. “There is more work to happen. There are more fighters to face to prove that you deserve it, that you deserve to be in this spot. I think a lot of stories will come in the strawweight division, so there is a lot of fighters to face her. But we have one new Chinese champion, and I think it’s great for that region. I think she’s a very huge star in her country, and it’s history.” (via MMA Junkie)
What Do the Fans Think
Dana White himself said that nobody wants to fight Weili Zhang. With his statements, Dana probably meant the contenders in the strawweight division didn’t want to face Zhang on her path to the title.
Valentina respects everybody but fears nobody and would probably take on Henry Cejudo if given the opportunity. With that being said, do fans respect the idea that Valentina wants Zhang to build credibility? Or do fans believe that Shevchenko should take on Zhang now if that is what the UFC wanted her to do?
Let us know in the comments below.