Valentina Shevchenko believes Jessica Andrade is a tailor-made opponent for her.
In the first of three title fights at UFC 261, Shevchenko is looking to defend her flyweight title against Andrade. Although the champ is a sizeable favorite, many believe this will be the toughest test for Shevchenko, but the flyweight champ doesn’t agree with that. Instead, she expects to be able to pick the Brazilian apart.
“I like that type of opponent when they are running into you like ‘I am here!’” Shevchenko said to MMAFighting. “I really like this style of challengers. It gets me very excited. Because I have a more clear target. I don’t have to look for a clean spot, it’s just running towards me.
“I’m going to be ready. I know she’s strong. She’s going to be powerful,” Shevchenko continued. “She’s going to try to strike wild [with] punches and I have to be ready for this. I will be.”
Valentina Shevchenko will have a four-inch reach advantage in the fight. She will likely use her jab to pick apart Andrade and not let her get inside. If she does that. she will likely be able to defend her belt again.
If Shevchenko does beat Andrade, she says she doesn’t care who is next. She knows Lauren Murphy and Joanne Calderwood are waiting in the wings but so too are super fights with Weili Zhang and Amanda Nunes. Yet, according to the flyweight champ, she doesn’t care who is next.
“Whoever else. I don’t care too much,” Shevchenko said. “For me, I see the face, I see the name, I start to prepare. My goal is to get there, to win and then past one step more, one obstacle more and then move forward.”
Shevchenko is riding a six-fight winning streak and has defended her belt four times.
Do you think Valentina Shevchenko will beat Jessica Andrade at UFC 261?