UFC 275’s Taila Santos: Shevchenko “Close As You Can Get” to Perfect Fighter, but “Nobody’s Perfect”

With Julianna Pena upsetting Amanda Nunes last year, it was a key reminder that in MMA, anything can happen on any given night.

Speaking to Cageside Press at a virtual press conference last month, UFC 275 co-headliner Taila Santos touched on that fact.

“I think when athletes step into the octagon, they both actually have 100% chance,” said Santos. “When you see a fight like Amanda’s defeat to Julianna, basically everyone comes into the octagon with 100%. Just like a video game,” she continued. “When you come into a fight in a video game, there’s two bars there, 100% stamina on both sides. And you know, sh*t takes a little bit of life. But the fact of the matter is, the one that’s more spiritually great, the one that’s more physically great, the one that’s more focused, the one that’s more driven is going to win.”

Not many people are giving Taila Santos much of a chance of winning against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275 on Saturday night. But as good as the women’s flyweight champ has been, Santos believes she has found some holes in her game, she revealed during this week’s media day.

“She’s about as close as you can get to a perfect fighter, but nobody’s perfect. There’s always room for improvements for everybody.” Studying tape, added Santos, uncovered a few flaws that she intends to exploit. “That’s basically the strategy, it’s been put around those flaws that we found, and that’s what I’m going to impose on Saturday.”

Entering a fight as an underdog is nothing new to Santos, either. So she’s comfortable with that role heading into UFC 275. She even sees it as motivating.

“I’ve been the underdog in most of my fights in the UFC, and that’s a good thing. I think for me, it’s as you said it’s extra motivation. But it doesn’t really matter, when we get in there, we’re going to fight the same no matter what people see.”

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