In the co-main event of UFC 238, Valentina Shevchenko was looking to defend her flyweight title for the first time. There, she was taking on a surging contender in Jessica Eye.
Ultimately, Shevchenko dominated Eye in the first round and then connected on a head kick that knocked the challenger out cold. And, after seeing that, Shevchenko worried for her health.
“The very first moment, you cannot think about this because the fight is still going and while she was going to the floor, I still was thinking that maybe—I didn’t know how deep it was,” Shevchenko said (h/t MMAFighting). “It wasn’t until the referee stopped the fight and I went to my corner, I saw that she was not getting up. And then I start to think. But the very, very first moment, it’s difficult to think about it.”
“First of all, of course it’s sport,” Shevchenko continued. “It’s MMA and we are training for this. If you are not doing this kind of KO, you will get this kind of KO, and no one wants to get it. That’s why we are training very hard to be better than our opponents. Everybody who steps into the Octagon, they know what they can get inside.”
Although it was a phenomenal finish, Valentina Shevchenko was not looking for a stoppage. Rather, she was just fighting her fight and the head kick presented itself.
“About this exact kick, it’s about the exact moment,” Shevchenko said. “But in my training, I train everything, because being an MMA fighter, I have to be able to use every single moment to win the fight. And if I see the opportunity to make KO, I can do it, because I have [the tools], and if I see (an) opportunity to make (a_ submission, I will be able to do it because I was training for it. That’s why I think it’s very important to train everything.”