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Valentina Shevchenko: Amanda Nunes Trilogy Is ‘The Only Reason’ I Return To Bantamweight

Valentina Shevchenko previews her UFC 261 title fight against Jessica Andrade, and reveals what would make her return to 135lb

Valentina Shevchenko: Amanda Nunes Trilogy Is ‘The Only Reason’ I Return To Bantamweight

From the moment she moved to flyweight, Valentina Shevchenko has been an unstoppable, dominant force of nature. However there is only one thing that could persuade her to move back up to 135lb.

For all intents and purposes, the UFC created the flyweight division with the sole purpose of showcasing the skills of Shevchenko. She made the move to 125lb, following her second loss to bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes, albeit a controversial loss.

Since then, she has looked like an utter beast, racking up 6 wins in a row, with 5 of those having belts on the line. At 125lb, nobody has even come close to dethroning the Kyrgyzstani champion.

Valentina Shevchenko Feels No Pressure

Next up, Valentina Shevchenko puts her title on the line against former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade. Some are looking at this as a no-lose situation for Jessica, which in turn puts pressure on Valentina. 

However she says that she is not feeling any of that so-called pressure. Speaking in a recent interview, Valentina explained that she will not start feeling nervous until fight week, but no matter what she will walk away with her title.

“Right now, we are here in Florida, no pressure yet. I don’t feel it because it’s sunny, beautiful weather, the ocean is very close. But all the pressure, whatever nerves I’m going to feel are definitely during fight week,” Shevchenko said.

“It doesn’t matter what pressure they’re going to put on me, the most important (thing) is the victory. I’m not going to do some crazy thing only because someone wants it. I know very (well) what I have to do to be in the fight, and what I have to use. I have everything to show (my) good skills, and I will do it in the fight. So no way I’m going to lose that belt, no way.”

Only Moving Up For Amanda Nunes

With how dominant both ladies have been, fans have been calling for a third fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes. Although Amanda won both bouts, the second was close, with many feeling that Valentina should have been the victor.

Valentina has been onboard with the idea of fighting Nunes for a third time, saying as much for several months. In fact, she say this is the only thing that would get her to return to 135lb.

“There is only one reason why I would move up, it’s a fight against Amanda. This is the only (reason) I see me going up,” Shevchenko explained.

“Right now I’m very focused on flyweight, because going up a weight class it means you have to gain more weight. It’s hard to go up and down again, up and down. So I prefer to do everything (at flyweight) and then think about going somewhere higher.”

The next step for Valentina Shevchenko is a fight with Jessica Andrade at UFC 261. Perhaps after this bout, she could face off against Amanda Nunes for a third time.

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