Valentina Shevchenko has remained consistent about fighting the next woman up with no questions asked, but she does have a suggestion for who should be her next opponent.
At UFC 255, Valentina Shevchenko once again stood victorious after another convincing win. Though she won a clear 49-46 decision, the fight contained arguably the most adversity she has faced since dropping down to terrorize the flyweight division. Throughout her reign as champion, Shevchenko has been in a league of her own, defeating and accepting all comers.
Following her win over Jennifer Maia on Saturday, Dana White seemed to all but confirm that Jessica Andrade would be next for her. If she is next, Shevchenko will be ready and willing as always. But that doesn’t mean Shevchenko doesn’t have an opinion on the matter, which is that Andrade should have one more fight before a title shot, and she knows just whom it should be against:
“I’m ready to fight anyone, I never pick my opponent,” Shevchenko said in the UFC 255 post-fight press conference. “I’m ready for whoever they will put in front of me,” Shevchenko said. “I believe there should be one more fight between Jessica Andrade vs. Lauren Murphy, because Lauren Murphy, she did great to get where she is right now.”
Lauren Murphy is currently on a four-fight winning streak and is 5-1 in the division while Andrade is only 1-0 at flyweight, so there is something to the argument in favor of an Andrade/Murphy title eliminator. In the end, it’s up to the UFC who will be her next opponent, but after her longest layoff since becoming champion, Valentina Shevchenko just wants to get back in action soon, regardless of who is standing across from her.
“But the other question, if I want to wait so long? No, I don’t,” Shevchenko said. “Me, finally coming back from the injury, waiting for so long, I don’t want to wait so long anymore.”
Do you agree with Valentina Shevchenko? Should Jessica Andrade vs. Lauren Murphy fight in a title eliminator to determine her next opponent?