Sunday, September 25, 2022

Shevchenko Explains Reason For Vocal Presence During Sister’s Fights

UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko has explained why she’s so vocal from the corner during sister Antonina’s fights.

There are two inevitabilities in an Antonina Shevchenko fight: one, a technical Muay Thai striking style, and two, “HEYYYYYYY!” — That’s Valentina screaming, if it wasn’t clear…

Whether a flush jab to the head, a kick to the arm, or a shot that connects to her opponent’s defenses, Valentina is always there to let the judges know when her fighter has made any sort of contact. That was most recently evident at UFC Vegas 58 when “La Pantera” was controversially awarded a decision victory over Cortney Casey.

It was a scene that mixed the worlds of MMA and tennis — only, instead of a Maria Sharapova-esque grunt after each swing, every one of Antonina’s punches came with a soundtrack from the flyweight queen sat Octagon-side.

As it turns out, rather than simple enthusiasm for her sister’s performance, there is a legitimate reason rooted in combat sports history behind the delightful noises Shevchenko gives us, which every fan no doubt loves hearing along with the action…

Shevchenko: “It’s The Exact Style Of Muay Thai Fights”

During a recent interview with Darren Paltrowitz, Shevchenko was asked where the unique corner yells derive from, and whether or not it has something to do with the added pressure that cornering her sister may bring with it.

Intriguingly, “Bullet” revealed that the vocal presence actually comes from Thai combat sports culture, which is something the Kyrgyzstani knows a lot about having had an illustrious Muay Thai career that included championships under the I.F.M.A and WMC banners.

“You know, that’s funny, because it’s the exact style of Muay Thai fights, Muay Thai and Thai boxing. This is how fighters are reacting on every single hit, on every single strike,” Shevchenko said. “You know, this is like culture, culture from Thailand. You hear that they have not one or two persons screaming that ‘Hey! Hey!’ on every single strike, but then you hear the whole stadium screaming the sound. It’s kind of like, impressive. It takes you deep through the soul.

“I felt that, and I know how it sounds and how it feels. I would love that more people get familiar with this amazing Thai culture,” Shevchenko added. “Me, being a 17(-time) Muay Thai world champion, I definitely want to bring more Thai boxing culture into mixed martial arts.”

For those who would prefer not to be graced with Shevchenko’s screams during Antonina’s fights, sorry folks, it’s seemingly here to stay.

Fortunately for those individuals, however, it’s hard to imagine the likes of Trevor Wittman and Eugene Bareman following suit, so it’s likely to remain a rare occurrence.

What do you make of Valentina Shevchenko’s corner approach during sister Antonina’s fights?

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