Valentina Shevchenko stepped into the UFC Octagon at UFC 275 and everyone thought this would be a typical Shevchenko title defense where Shevchenko would show how she is the most dominant Flyweight in MMA history. But to everyone’s surprise Taila Santos gave Shevchenko a very big challenge, one that Shevchenko rose above in the end but it was very close with one judge even scoring it for Santos. We decided to look ahead at what should be next for Shevchenko.
One obvious fight to make is a rematch with Santos. That fight was a great fight, and once Santos recovers from that broken orbital we think that she should face off against Shevchenko in an immediate rematch as Shevchenko has cleared out that division and it looks like no-one in that division is of the same caliber as the Bullet. If Shevchenko doesn’t move up I think it’s imperative that we see this fight run back sometime in 2023, but Shevchenko might want to be more active than that.
The Obvious other matchup in the Flyweight division is a rematch with Katlyn Chookagian. since their last matchup at UFC 247 before the Pandemic, Chookagian has put together a 5-1 record with a four fight win streak. Chookagian was supposed to face Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris, but has since pulled out of that matchup. We think the number one Flyweight contender would be a good matchup fans would like to see.
The real matchup fans would like to see is Shevchenko vs. the winner of the Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes Bantamweight title bout at UFC 277. Shevchenko’s only losses in her MMA career were against Amanda Nunes. I think that fans would like to see these two fight again even though Shevchenko lost both bouts. This would be a good fight if Nunes wins her bout and her belt back after she faces Peña. If Peña wins against Nunes again this sets up an interesting situation. Shevchenko won her bout against Peña in January of 2017. She’d be a heavy favorite if she went up and challenged Peña for the Bantamweight belt. Both these fights would make Shevchenko a two division champion which we’d love to see.
These matchups make sense for Shevchenko in our eyes. We can’t wait to see her in the cage again very soon.