At UFC 255, this weekend, Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) will make her fourth title defense. The Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian professional mixed martial artist will take on Brazilian Jennifer Maia (18-6-1) in the co-main event.
‘The Bullet’ is currently on a five-fight win streak. While her confidence may be high, Valentina spoke to ESPN MMA about her upcoming opponent. Jennifer Maia is currently 3-2 in her last five fights. However, she beat Joanne Calderwood in August to take her spot as the #1 contender.
Valentina Shevchenko remains confident but humble. She told Ariel Helwani, “I cannot say what impresses me most, but she’s a good striker, she’s a good grappler, she’s a complete MMA fighter and she’s going to do everything that she has.”
However, it is not in Valentina’s nature to fixate on her opponents. She says that her preparation is key to the outcome of the fight. “It doesn’t matter at all because I am prepared. I was training so hard for everything and if she’s saying she wants the belt more than me, oh she’s wrong.”
Valentina Shevchenko is a focused UFC champion
Becoming the UFC champion is difficult, but staying champion is even more difficult. With all the media as well as social media attention, many champions have lost their way.
Whether it is their ability or their desire, a champion has to always be prepared for the next hungry challenger in line. Valentina however is under no illusions and reveals that she is focused as ever.
She said, “They think that when you become a champion, then you start to slow down. They think you start to lose focus or you are thinking about some different things, but they are talking about the wrong person.”
Valentina continued, “They don’t know what they are saying because of the way I did from the beginning to become a UFC champion. It was not an easy way at all.”
‘The Bullet’ believes that she is focused and prepared to face Jennifer Maia. She will look to continue to cement her legacy as one of the best UFC fighters.
UFC 255 will be live this weekend, headlined by Deiveson Figueiredo taking on Alex Perez for the UFC men’s flyweight title.
Read: UFC 255: Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez – When and Where to Watch
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