Valentina Shevchenko defended her UFC Flyweight title in a dominant display against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255. Maia had one round in which she beat Shevchenko, but throughout most of the fight, Valentina was the one in the driver’s seat.
This performance naturally sparked the ‘what’s next’ conversation for the Flyweight Champion. The man-in-charge Dana White has offered some clarity on what the direction for Valentina will be.
And it seems like the Bullet is on a collision course right towards the former UFC Strawweight Champion, Jessica Andrade.
“Andrade is a very good fight for her. That’s a tough fight… Andrade will bring a lot of things she has never seen before, not to mention the power. She just knocked a girl out, the number two girl with a body shot.
“She is a real problem for Shevchenko… If she does, I think the fight that makes more sense is, Weili Zhang will fight here soon and Zhang may get in between those two. But I don’t know, just off the top of my head.”
Valentina Shevchenko and her next challenger
Jessica Andrade is possibly the best contender to take on Valentina Shevchenko right now. While fellow contender Lauren Murphy is on a longer win-streak, Andrade’s pedigree as a former champion will have the UFC inclined to prop her up to a shot at gold. Shevchenko isn’t sure about when her next fight will be, but she is looking for a quick turnaround.
If Shevchenko was willing to sit, a fight between Andrade and Murphy would be the best way to decide a contender. However, Murphy has had unflattering things to say about Shevchenko’s opponent at UFC 255, Jennifer Maia. She could possibly settle that grudge fight while Andrade and Shevchenko go toe-to-toe against each other.
Shevchenko and Andrade could be billed as one of the few super-fights in the UFC women’s division right now. While obviously fights against Weili Zhang or Amanda Nunes are higher profile, Andrade is a legitimate name.
It will be interesting to see if Andrade’s unique skill-set actually troubles Shevchenko in a way that we haven’t seen since her fights against Amanda Nunes.
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