‘You Have to Be Like a Wild Animal’- Valentina Shevchenko Explains Her Mentality in the UFC Ring

Published 10/23/2021, 12:23 PM EDT
EDMONTON, AB – SEPTEMBER 09: Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan raises her hands after facing Amanda Nunes of Brazil in their women’s bantamweight bout during the UFC 215 event inside the Rogers Place on September 9, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Anyone who enjoys UFC cannot be oblivious to Valentina Shevchenko. The Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian mixed martial artist is known for her brilliant fight record of 22 wins and three losses. She has lost against Liz Carmouche and twice against Amanda Nunes. However, after her third loss, she went on an 8-fight win streak. This includes knocking out four of her opponents.

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Shevchenko has fought in bantamweight and flyweight divisions and appears unbeatable at the 125 pounds division. She has thoroughly dominated every adversary put forth before her. At the Women’s pound-for-pound top rankings, the 33-year-old fighter stands at the 2nd rank while her arch-rival Nunes occupies the first rank.

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan celebrates her KO victory over Jessica Eye in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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Valentina Shevchenko in conversation with Joe Rogan

Shevchenko appeared on Rogan’s podcast and spoke about her fights and future aspirations. Discussing her fight with Jessica Andrade, Rogan pointed out how Shevchenko uses her opponent’s techniques on them. To this Shevchenko said, “I know exactly what is my strengths, I know exactly what is my power. That’s why it never was a doubt, ‘would I be good there?’… I know exactly what I have to be worried about.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan punches Jennifer Maia of Brazil in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the UFC 255 event at UFC APEX on November 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Further, she added, “I know that I have to be careful, like to see everything because it’s MMA. Everything can happen. You cannot just go there and say, okay I am a champion. Everyone has to fall down, no. You cannot, you have to be wild. You have to be like a wild animal. Ready for anything.”

The flyweight champion also spoke about not overestimating her opponents because it makes the fight uninteresting. Finding a balance is important, according to her. 

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‘Bullet’ is the current titleholder of the women’s flyweight division. She last fought at UFC 266 against Lauren Murphy and managed to defend her title yet again. After knocking out Murphy in the fourth round, Shevchenko proved once again that she is one of the best fighters in all of women’s MMA. 

It is not clear who Shevchenko will next face. After she managed to clean up the entire division, who do you think would be the best fighter to fight Shevchenko? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Rohini Kottu

134 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.

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