Antonina Shevchenko looks to continue her winning ways.
Following a dominant win over Jaimee Nievera at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July, Shevchenko followed that up with a victory in her UFC debut over Ji Yeon Kim at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale. It was a successful year for the Shevchenko sisters, as Valentina captured the UFC’s flyweight title a few months later, with a win over former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231.
“We were on so focused on [that UFC 231] title fight and so excited” Shevchenko told MMANews.“We waited so long for Valentina to fight for the title. Of course I was very excited when she won the fight. We had good rest after the fight. But now we keep moving forward, she’s defending her title in June [at UFC 238 against Jessica Eye]. She’s been training very hard at Tiger Muay Thai.”
Shevchenko (7-0) now puts her undefeated record on the line against TUF 26 finalist Roxanne Modafferi at UFC Saint Petersburg on April 20. Because of the long distance travelling to Russia for this fight, the 34-year-old opted to train in Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai for this matchup instead of in the United States.
“Here are Tiger Muay Thai there are many MMA fighters from all over the country. We have plenty of sparring partners with different styles. As always we work on everything, of course sharpening my striking to look good in the fight. Of course my grappling and wrestling game. Everything to make me a perfect, well-rounded fighter.”
With her first UFC victory out of the way, Shevchenko now looks for her first stoppage win in the octagon. The Muay Thai standout and her opponent Modaferri have put it out there on social media that this fight won’t go to the judges’ scorecards.
“Of course every fighter [their] goal is to finish earlier. We promised to each other on social media to finish the fight in the first round. Now we’re working on it to fulfill that goal. I think it’s a great matchup. Roxanne is #8 in the rankings which is what I want. My goal is to climb to the top of the division and I’ll do my best to do that this year.”
UFC on ESPN+ 7 takes place at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The main event pits Alexander Volkov against Alistair Overeem in a heavyweight fight.