“I think about Joanna that she’s (a true) martial artist,” Shevchenko said. “And she’s been in martial arts for so many years, and it’s amazing. She’s an amazing example for many people, an inspiration for many women to do martial arts, to be successful, to be powerful. “
Jędrzejczyk has received well-wishes from all across the MMA world after UFC 275, but few are as qualified to speak on her legacy as Shevchenko. The two faced each other several times in Muay Thai competition, and their MMA careers finally overlapped at UFC 231.
“And you know, in our lives, we have this person who we are going parallel all the time. (I’ve known) Joanna since 2006. This is the first time when we fought together. We every time was opponents: in my Muay Thai career — even here, in the UFC, we had a fight.”
Shevchenko won a unanimous decision in their bout at UFC 231 and captured the flyweight title that she’s now defended 7 times. Regardless of the outcomes when they fought, Shevchenko thinks that her battles with Joanna cultivated a mutual respect over the years.
“But this rivalry, it’s made us gain respect (for) each other. I know how hard she’s worked. I know how dedicated she (is) as a person. And I just have true respect (for) her, and she deserve all love (from) the fans. And it’s another chapter of her career, and I think she will (have) the same success as she (had) in martial arts.”
What do you think of Shevchenko’s comments on Joanna’s legacy as a fighter and champion?