Valentina Shevchenko is ready to move on with her Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight career, and she already has a next step in mind. Shevchenko, who had been scheduled to fight Nicco Montano for the UFC women’s flyweight title this past Saturday at UFC 228, was left without an opponent when Montano was hospitalized the day before the event as a result of a weight cut gone wrong. The UFC then stripped its inaugural 125-pound champion of her title and Dana White stated that Shevchenko would challenge for the now-vacant title with a date and opponent to be named shortly.
This week on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Shevchenko said she’s putting the disappointment of the weekend behind her and is focusing on getting the title in her next fight.
“I’m moving on,” she said. “If at some point [Montano] will show that she deserves this fight, that she really knows where she’s going and is ready for this fight — I think she is not ready for this fight, but if in the future she will show it, I will think about it.”
Shevchenko is strongly rumored to be challenging former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacant 125-pound title, a fighter she’s very familiar with, having defeated Jedrzejczyk three times in muay Thai. Shevchenko welcomes the opportunity to rekindle their rivalry in the cage.
“The division has to move, the division has to fight and the belt has to be in play. The fight for the belt has to happen before the end of the year. I will gladly fight Joanna because she’s a real professional fighter,” she added.