Immediately following Valentina Shevchenko’s latest title defense at UFC 255, Dana White already had her next opponent in mind.
At UFC 255, Valentina Shevchenko turned in her fourth successful world title defense when she defeated Jennifer Maia in the co-main event. Many people already have Shevchenko cleaning out the flyweight division, the same folks who continue to line and bet her as a -1000 favorite and above. The only name that has been regularly thrown out as an intriguing opponent for her is reigning two-division champion Amanda Nunes. However, the boss thinks there is one name being overlooked, and that is the woman who is next in line for a flyweight title shot and former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
“Well, let’s talk about Andrade first,” White responded at the UFC 255 post-fight press conference when asked about a potential Nunes/Shevchenko trilogy fight. “Andrade is a very, very good fight for her. That’s a tough fight. I mean, if you’re going to go out and be safe the first couple of rounds against somebody like Jennifer, what are you gonna do against Andrade? Andrade is going to bring her a lot of things she hasn’t seen before, not to mention the power that Andrade has. I mean, she just knocked (Kaitlyn Chookagian) out with a body shot. She’s a real problem for Shevchenko that she’s gonna have to figure out.
White believes that Jessica Andrade would make for a great opponent for Shevchenko for the same reason Amanda Nunes would: they both pose a formidable threat to the champion that oddsmakers and fans will have to respect.
“I think that Andrade/Shevchenko is a very fun fight,” White said. “And the thing I love about that fight, too, is that Shevchenko’s at a place in her career now that she needs an opponent that people think actually has a chance of beating her, and I think we all know that Andrade does.”
Judging from White’s above statements, it may only be a matter of time before we hear the official fight announcement for a Shevchenko/Andrade title bout. Should the bout happen, we will see just how much danger Andrade actually poses to the dominant flyweight queen.
How much of a chance do you think Jessica Andrade has of dethroning Valentina Shevchenko?