Valentina Shevchenko’s hunt for UFC gold will continue in a new division early next year.
The Las Vegas-based promotion confirmed on Tuesday that Shevchenko will drop from bantamweight to flyweight and face Priscila Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil, on Feb. 3. Also announced was a strawweight clash pitting “The Ultimate Fighter 26” competitor Maia Kahuanaele-Stevenson against Polyana Viana Mota.
UFC Fight Night 125 takes place at Manguerinho Gymnasium and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The UFC recently crowned its inaugural flyweight champion at the “TUF 26” finale, when Nicco Montano earned a unanimous verdict over Roxanne Modafferi. Shevchenko is expected to be a top contender for the 125-pound title in the future.
The 29-year-old Shevchenko challenged for the bantamweight crown at UFC 215, losing a narrow split verdict to Amanda Nunes on Sept. 9. “Bullet” owns wins over Julianna Pena, Holly Holm and Sarah Kaufman in UFC competition.
Cachoiera was supposed to make her Octagon debut against Lauren Murphy at the “TUF 26” finale but was forced to withdraw due to visa issues. The Brazilian known as “Pedrita” will enter her first UFC appearance with an 8-0 record that includes four victories via KO or TKO.