Valentina Shevchenko is gearing up for her eighth UFC flyweight title defense this Saturday night.
More than four years after capturing the 125-pound title, ‘Bullet’ will attempt to defend it once again. This time, she’ll be tasked with fending off Mexican-born contender Alexa Grasso in the UFC 285 co-main event. Ahead of their UFC championship showcase, Shevchenko sat down with the media at a pre-fight press event.
Unlike other opponents Valentina Shevchenko has matched up with, Alexa Grasso has maintained the utmost respect for the reigning champion. Asked about the difference in fighting an opponent that shows respect rather than one who forces trash-talk to sell a fight, ‘Bullet’ said:
“All fighters have their own character. Alexa, she’s Alexa. Other fighters are other fighters and she won’t do things that she never did before only because someone wants to create trash-talk or something like that. Or more attention for the fight. I think this is exactly what this fight game needs. Characters. If you are like you are, be who you are. Don’t be someone else. If someone is creating trash-talk because he or she is trash talkers, that’s fine, but don’t try to play some game that’s not yours.”
"I know her fears": Valentina Shevchenko offers a chilling "reminder" to Alexa Grasso ahead of their title fight. 😳#UFC285 | Full video: https://t.co/YclnhIQFd5 pic.twitter.com/Z9NerQzd1H
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) March 1, 2023
Valentina Shevchenko Issues Words of Warning to Alexa Grasso
Though Alexa Grasso has been complimentary of Shevchenko leading up to their co-main clash, Shevchenko did take exception to Grasso’s comment about finding her weak point. ‘Bullet’ was quick to remind Grasso that she too has a weak point and delivered a rather ominous message to her latest challenger.
“I heard she also mentioned about everyone has a weak point. Something like that and she will figure it out, where is this weak point, but I want to say, to remind. I want to leave a reminder, while you’re trying to figure out my weak point, don’t forget about your weak point. Don’t forget about your fears. I know your fears. I know your weak point and I will use it in my game.”
Defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk to capture the vacant UFC flyweight championship, Valentina Shevchenko has looked virtually unstoppable, walking through some of the best female fighters in the world, including Katlyn Chookagian and Jessica Andrade. ‘Bullet’ had a close call in her last outing against the wrestle-heavy Taila Santos but ultimately escaped with a split decision victory. With hints of doubt creeping into the minds of MMA fans following her previous performance, Shevchenko will be looking to make a statement in her return to the Octagon this weekend.
On the other side of the coin is Alexa Grasso. Originally competing in the UFC’s strawweight division, Grasso struggled to stay in the win column prompting her transition to flyweight. It’s been nothing, but W’s since then with Grasso scoring wins over the likes of Maycee Barber and Vivian Araujo.