Fight fans called for a Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes trilogy bout no sooner than the former defended her title at UFC 261 against Jessica Andrade. Still out of breath and dripping with sweat after her win, Valentina Shevchenko showed little interest in the third meet-up against Nunes at press conferences, at least right now. Yes, fight fans dig the idea and want to see the two baddest women in combat sports get it on, but don’t expect to see that action any time soon.
Shevchenko Defends Flyweight Title
Valentina Shevchenko defended her flyweight title against Jessica Andrade at UFC 261 on Saturday night in a strongly one-sided bout that left her opponent bloodied and grounded on the mat in Round 2. The Kyrgyz-born Shevchenko dominated the Brazillian-born Andrade in front of a packed house at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Referee Dan Miragliotta called the bout as Shevchenko landed heavy blows from the crucifix position while Andrade lay bloodied on the mat. This win earned Shevchenko her fifth title defense and her seventh-straight win. Her last defeat came against Amanda Nunes in 2017.
Nunes Def. Shevchenko in Two Bouts
The pair met for the first time at UFC 196 in 2016, ending in a unanimous decision win for Nunes. The rematch at UFC 215 in September 2017 finished with the same result. For many fight fans, the most logical bout next on the Shevchenko fight card is the third meet-up with Nunes.
Nunes is widely considered the GOAT of the women’s fighting division and currently ranks as the UFC’s #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter. Shevchenko is next in line for that honor. A Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes trilogy is risky for either fighter right now.
Before the UFC 261 defeat, Andrade said in an interview with MMA Fighting that Shevchenko, not Nunes, was the best pound-for-pound fighter.
“Valentina is the best in the UFC,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “I’ve always wanted to fight her because I always want to fight the best. I’ve fought a lot of good girls and I think Valentina is one level above any other. Actually, her fight with Amanda [Nunes], I’m one of those that think [judges] could have given it to Valentina because she was better.”
Nunes hasn’t lost a bout since 2014, last defeating Megan Anderson by way of submission in Round 1 at UFC 259. Nunes next takes on Julianna Pena at UFC 265 in August.
Dana White on Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes Trilogy
Shevchenko declined to name whom she wants to meet in the octagon next but insisted a trilogy against Nunes could be a possibility in the future. Journalists and fight fans immediately hinted at the trilogy on Twitter and social media. UFC President Dana White, who praised Shevchenko after her impressive UFC 261 win, said during the post-event press conference that it’s best that she let her legacy lay rather than taking another shot at Nunes.
“It’s almost like she was p*ssed, she was mad,” White said of Shevchenko’s performance against Andrade.
“She was like a f*cking demon tonight, p*ssed off that anyone could imagine that was possible [that Andrade could beat her]. She looked incredible, one of the best performances of her career.”
“[Nunes and Shevchenko] have their own legacies. They fought a couple of times. People can think whatever they want, there’s always someone else coming up, a new contender.
“It’s not Valentina’s fault that she’s one of the all-time baddest women on this planet.
“Making her move up to 135lbs just doesn’t make sense, they did it twice.
“If they both come to me and they both want to do it then I’ll make it happen, but it’s not something I’m thinking about.”
Maybe we’ll see a Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes trilogy one day, but for now, we’ll patiently wait and focus attention on the next bout in line for each fighter.
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