In the co-main event of UFC 231, Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will compete for the vacant flyweight championship. The history shared between the two fighters goes back over a decade in time, as Shevchenko holds three victories over Jedrzejczyk in Muay Thai. Valentina Shevchenko has already made it clear that she has not forgotten about her history with Jedrzejczyk; and in a media lunch scrum earlier today, she expressed her belief that Jedrzejczyk has not forgotten, either (Transcript via MMA Fighting):
“She can say that it’s not affecting her, but yes — it’s affecting her,” Shevchenko said of her victories over Jedrzejczyk. “We are saying sometimes that fighters can say whatever, but what they are feeling inside is totally different. And it’s affecting everything. It’s affecting everyone, for sure.”
“I don’t think that it will be much different,” Shevchenko offered as a prediction for next Saturday’s co-main event. “Of course, she is going to feel healthier, because she doesn’t have to cut. But I don’t think it’s gonna be much different for me in the face of Joanna. Of course, she will have more energy, but it doesn’t matter for me.
“Of course it was years ago,” Shevchenko continued. “Of course she changed, she improved as a fighter, same as me. I’ve improved as a mixed martial arts fighter. But at the end of the day, in the final it doesn’t matter. All experience, it will help. And each experience I get from that fight, it will help me to win this fight.”
Do you agree with Valentina Shevchenko? Do you believe Joanna Jedrzejczyk is still affected by her Muay Thai losses to Valentina Shevchenko?