UFC women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko will return to action at UFC 285 on March 4, 2023.
Shevchenko is set to face top contender Alexa Grasso at the event, which takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
ESPN Deportes was first to report the news on Wednesday. The booking puts to rest the possibility that Shevchenko was set would return to bantamweight to take another stab at Amanda Nunes’ 135lb title. At least for now.
Shevchenko (23-3) has not fought since a June split decision win against Taila Santos at UFC 275, which many see as her toughest test in years. “Bullet” has defended her 125lb title seven times, a divisional record, and the a record among female fighters in the UFC, besting Amanda Nunes, who defended her bantamweight title on five consecutive occasions prior to losing it to Juliana Pena, then reclaiming the belt.
Grasso (15-3) has long been touted as a title hopeful, and has won all four of her fights since arriving at 125lbs in 2020. Most recently, the Mexican standout defeated Viviane Araujo by unanimous decision.
UFC 285 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4, with the return of Jon Jones, debuting as a heavyweight, headlining. He’ll be facing Ciryl Gane for the title vacated when Francis Ngannou parted ways with the organization.
The card currently features the following reported match-ups:
- Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gane – for the UFC heavyweight championship
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso – for the UFC women’s flyweight championship
- Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Geoff Neal
- Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis
- Jamie Pickett vs. Bo Nickal
- Julian Marquez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
- Viviane Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas
- Cody Garbrandt vs. Julio Arce
- Jessica Penne vs. Tabatha Ricci
- Farid Basharat vs. Da’Mon Blackshear
- Kamuela Kirk vs. Esteban Ribovics
A women’s bantamweight title fight between champ Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana is also reportedly being targeted for UFC 285, per a report by Brazilian outlet Combate.