UFC: Valentina Shevchenko Calls Alexa Grasso “Chance Fighter” Ahead of Rematch

Vancouver, Canada — As fight fans prepare for Amanda Nunes’ latest title defense, a former foe of “The Lioness” and ex-UFC flyweight champion arrived in Vancouver to talk about her quest to reclaim gold.

Valentina Shevchenko was a dominant force at flyweight right up until a shocking upset loss to Alexa Grasso earlier this year. Now, she’s readying herself for a widely expected rematch, one that has yet to be officially announced by the promotion.

“I’m getting ready for this rematch, and I know what I have to do. And yeah, I’m just getting ready. I’m refocused, re-taking everything,” Shevchenko stated during Friday’s UFC 30th Anniversary Q&A. “I’m in fighting in martial arts for so long, thirty years. For thirty years, people have three careers in martial arts, but I’m still here, I’m still saying I’m the best, and I will have my chance to say it again when I fight with Alexa.”

Shevchenko believes that Grasso’s win was a matter of opportunity, and jumping at the right chance in their UFC 285 fight.

“For me she’s a great fighter, she did what she did in the fight, but she’s the kind of fighter that’s, how can I say it, a chance fighter. So during the fight, doing not much things, conserving energy, and waiting for a chance,” Shevchenko opined. “But actually if there is no chance, where’s the victory? There is no victory. I know she’s going to be ready for this exact chance, but the question is if she will be given this chance. No.”

Asked by a fan in attendance whether she had brought in training partners to replicate Grasso’s style, Shevchenko replied by saying that “it’s kind of not about replicating Grasso and her style. It’s about, get the right timing. Yeah definitely my training partners, they are all grapplers, strikers, boxers, all of them. That’s why Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand is the perfect place, because there is so many training partners that are so different style wise.”

“Definitely I will be ready for this fight, and in my best shape,” she added. “And it’s going to happen that I will retain and get back my belt. And new.”

Valentina Shevchenko’s focus on reclaiming flyweight gold means any plans of a return to 135lbs, either against Amanda Nunes or Julianna Pena, who she has faced once before, are on hold.

“My weight is flyweight, and I’m very focused on what’s happening in my weight class,” explained Shevchenko. “I’m more concerned about, what is my fight next? This is my nature. I’m not looking three fights ahead, four fights ahead. For me, right now, my rematch. This is everything that matters to me right now.”

Watch the full UFC 30th Anniversary Q&A above.