Valentina Shevchenko thinks title contender Erin Blanchfield is getting too ahead of herself.
The UFC women’s flyweight division has been under the reign of champion Valentina Shevchenko nearly since its inception. She has held the belt for five years and has defended it seven times. Over the course of her title reign, she has seemed unstoppable, but now there are new young fighters coming up, looking to dethrone the queen. One of them being Erin Blanchfield.
Blanchfield burst into the UFC scene in 2021 and has already worked her way into title contention talks. She currently has five wins in the flyweight division and thinks she is ready to take on the champion. Shevchenko thinks she is getting ahead of herself.
Valentina Shevchenko thinks Erin Blachfield is not prepared for the jump up in competition of a title fight
Shevchenko is currently preparing for her next title fight against Alexa Grasso but always has her eye on the up-and-coming fighters. She was asked about the recent performance by Blanchfield when she defeated former champion Jessica Andrade at UFC Vegas 69. She felt that Andrade had not come into that fight prepared on short notice. She spoke about this with Morning Kombat.
“We cannot forget that Jessica Andrade, she took the fight one week’s notice,” she said. “Doubtful that she even trained for this fight. I think she was like, Okay, I’m ready, lets’ make some money baby.’ And like, flew back to her like family and now she feeling great. So yeah, it’s kind of like yes victory, but at the same time kind of like double feeling. I’m not sure if she is fully ready for the title fight yet.”
The hype behind Blanchfield is high at this time and many believe she could be next for a title shot. Shevchenko sees Blanchfield as a good fighter but does not see her at the level she needs to be to compete with the top dogs.
“It’s very funny to like hear all the young fighters with five fights wins only and thinking that they are the best, number one in the entire world,” she said. “You know the best comparison it’s like you see a puppy right and it’s young and it didn’t have any problem yet didn’t fight any strong fight yet it just barking around with its ears like up in the air, it’s happy but once the first fight like wild nature and violent nature when they start to like stepping into the mature world, all the big sharks and they feel the impact and they kind of like oh, it’s something different I didn’t expect that, they start to change.”
Shevchenko will be taking on Grasso in the co-main event of UFC 285 on Saturday night. If she is victorious this will be her eighth title defense and she may find herself face-to-face with Blanchfield later this year.