Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Taila Santos: The UFC Admitted That Shevchenko Is Running From Me

Talia Santos is making a strong push for another shot at the UFC flyweight championship.

Talia Santos has her sights set on one thing: a rematch with champion Valentina Shevchenko. The champ Shevchenko has not fought since her last meeting with Santos in June. Usually an active champion, Shevchenko does not even have a bout on the schedule at this point. This is the longest layoff since winning the belt and now Santos, the last person to share the cage with Shevchenko, thinks she is running.

Talia Santos Wants Valentina Shevchenko To Stop Running From Her

Talia Santos is the current ranked number two in the flyweight division. Her last fight was a split-decision loss to the champion. Following the bout, Santos received praise from the MMA community for being the closest to have beaten Shevchenko in five years. Santos wants a chance to finish the job and is loudly calling out the champ.

“We’ve been asking for fights over and over again — asking for the rematch, really,” Santos said to MMA Fighting. “Tiago [Okamura, manager] spoke with Mick [Maynard] and the UFC, informed them I was well and training. They even said that Valentina was running. She asked them for fights, but not against me.”

Valentina Shevchenko, Taila Santos
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Santos won her last four before facing Shevchenko. She believes she has cracked the code on beating Shevchenko and feels she deserves another chance to follow through. As for Shevchenko, she has been MIA of late.

“All the girls say Valentina is a monster, but I’ve been saying for a while she has no ground game,” Santos said. “I showed that there was no reason to fear [her]. I knew she wouldn’t accept a rematch after that fight. I called her out anyway, but I knew she wouldn’t take the risk of losing her belt. She wouldn’t rematch me after I showed she was no big deal. She’s scared.”

Santos is not the only one calling out Shevchenko, she has been the target of strawweight champion Zhang Weili. Shevchenko has been posting photos of herself in training but has not hinted at a possible return date.

Who do you want to see Valentina Shevchenko face next?