Valentina Shevchenko believes she is the best flyweight fighter in the world, and on September 16, she’ll look to prove it once again.
‘Bullet’ had gone more than five years without a loss inside the Octagon, but all of that changed at UFC 285 when Shevchenko was stunned by Mexican-born challenger Alexa Grasso in the evening’s co-main event. Six months later, the pair will run it back as part of Noche UFC at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Ahead of their highly anticipated rematch, Valentina Shevchenko spoke with Red Corner MMA regarding her shocking loss to Grasso and her mindset going into her opportunity to once again become a world champion.
“I would say this is a good example of what is martial arts. Even when you know you are the best. Even when you know you are the most skillful fighter,” Shevchenko said. “Even when you know you have much more to bring to the game. Every second, you have to [pay] full attention to what’s happening, and that time, it’s kind of like, yeah, it was four rounds straight to my side.
“I was winning the fight. I was sure I was doing everything right, but in just seconds everything can be different. The most important thing is I have another fight and I have another opportunity to prove that I am the best. I am the champion and I will use it.”
Valentina Shevchenko Was in Compete Control of Their First Meeting… Until She Wasn’t
Through three rounds of action, Shevchenko was up 29-28 on all three scorecards, putting Alexa Grasso’s back against the wall in the championship rounds. With a minute left in the fourth, ‘Bullet’ threw a spinning heel kick that allowed Grasso to quickly close the distance and take Shevchenko’s back. With Grasso hopping into backpack position, Shevchenko immediately dropped to the canvas as Grasso fished for a rear-naked choke.
Seconds later, Shevchenko had no choice, but to tap out and the world witnessed the rise of a new flyweight world champion.
Will Valentina Shevchenko reclaim UFC gold in their sequel, or will Alexa Grasso prove to the world that her first win was anything, but a fluke?