UFC 275’s Valentina Shevchenko: Taila Santos Trying to “Hypnotize” Herself


Valentina Shevchenko has been an unstoppable force in the UFC women’s flyweight division since she arrived there in 2018. So it’s no surprise that the first question out of the gate at this week’s UFC 275 media day was about her moving back to bantamweight to pursue a second title.

That, before she’s even stepped into the cage to face current challenger Taila Santos.

“Every possibility is still there,” flyweight champ Shevchenko (22-3) said regarding the future. “Maybe bantamweight, but still, [there are] a lot of new contenders rising into my division. Any of these two options would work for me.”

As for Santos, Shevchenko has heard the challenger talking, and it’s the same talk she’s heard before.

“I think it’s kind of like, hypnotizing herself, trying to convince [herself] that ‘there is something, there should be, everyone is not perfect.’ Definitely not everyone is perfect, but it’s kind of like, all my opponents, they were saying the same,” explained Shevchenko. “The same, over and over, it’s like ‘no one is unbeatable, she has some hole in her game.'”

“But once they step inside the octagon,” the champ continued, “they feel the opposite side, they feel the difference between the fighters, and this is the most important [thing]. She’s trying to hypnotize herself to convince [herself] that there should be [a hole], but she’s wrong. It’s not going to work for her.”

Back to the bantamweight talk, which is never far from Shevchenko these days. “Bullet” says she doesn’t need any motivation beyond being a martial artist, but it would seem that the challenge of a second title might add a little something. Shevchenko suggested another reason for the potential move up.

“I think it’s mostly because people want that. It was a discussion through the years, our trilogy with Amanda [Nunes]; now people are speaking about Julianna [Pena],” Shevchenko stated. “No matter what the outcome is gonna be in their fight in July, either one works for me. Because it will be an interesting fight against Amanda, and we have history with Julianna, because a few years ago I submitted her. So it’s gonna be, either option is gonna work for me.”

Watch the full UFC 275 media day appearance from Valentina Shevchenko above. The event takes place this Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.


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