Tuesday, January 25, 2022

White & Shevchenko Address The Odds Of A Nunes Trilogy Fight

Two-thirds of the parties it would take to make Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes III a reality have provided an update on the chances the trilogy will happen.

This may be hard to believe after watching her sheer dominance in the flyweight division, but Valentina Shevchenko has lost twice to the same person. It’s true. What would no doubt make this fact much less surprising is when you remember who those losses came to: the consensus greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time, Amanda Nunes.

Both of Nunes’s narrow victories over Shevchenko came in the bantamweight division, a division Shevchenko has not competed in four years. Since 2017, Shevchenko has been wrecking shop down at 125 while Nunes has been doing the same at both bantamweight and featherweight. It’s rare that a fight with a lopsided win-loss track record would have calls for a trilogy, but as dominant as both women have looked in their respective divisions, it’s only inevitable.

When UFC President Dana White was asked about this at the UFC 261 post-fight press conference, he believes that it would be better for the two champions to continue doing what they are doing in forging their own legacies.

“Yeah, their own legacies,” White said of a Nunes/Shevchenko pairing. “Listen, they fought a couple times. People can think whatever they want. There’s always somebody else coming up. There’s always a new contender. And it’s not Valentina’s fault that she’s one of the all-time baddest women on this planet. So making her move up to 135 pounds just doesn’t make sense. They did it twice.”

There was, however, one condition that could change White’s current stance and lead to the trilogy fight happening.

“Listen, if they both come to me and they both want to do it, whatever. Then, I’ll make it happen. But it’s not something I’m thinking about.”

Will Valentina Shevchenko “Go To” Dana White About Nunes Fight?

At the same press conference, Valentina Shevchenko was asked about another fight against Amanda Nunes, as she often is. Prior to her UFC 261 win over Jessica Andrade, Shevchenko had stated that she would be open to moving back up to bantamweight but only if it meant fighting Amanda Nunes. Is that time approaching? Would she be willing to approach Dana White and request the opportunity to become a double champion and finally get the better of Nunes?

“I feel that this fight is just gonna happen,” Shevchenko said. “And I’m not gonna push it and say, ‘Oh, give me Amanda right now. I’m gonna break her face.’ I’m not gonna say it because I know this fight gonna happen, and it’s gonna happen just naturally when everyone will feel like ‘There is no more. Only this fight makes sense for everyone,’ when all fans, they’re gonna (say), ‘Oh, we want to see this fight,’ when UFC even, Dana White is like, ‘Oh, we just need this fight.’ 

So, what about that Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko trilogy? – The  Athletic
Credit: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“And I think that when it’s time to happen, it’s gonna be something big and huge. And I will be ready for this. I’m already ready for this, but I will make sure to gain some pounds back,” Shevchenko said with a smile.

Amanda Nunes is currently booked to make her next title defense against Julianna Peña this August. Shevchenko’s next flyweight victim…I mean opponent…is yet to be determined.

Are you interested in seeing a trilogy fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko?

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