Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight championship title challenger, Chael Sonnen has questioned the character and persona on show from reigning flyweight best, Valentina Shevchenko – speculating that the dominant division queen is likely “very insincere”.

Sonnen, a former title challenger at both the middleweight and light heavyweight limit within the organization, called time on his professional mixed martial arts career following a June 2020 loss to Lyoto Machida under the Bellator banner.

In the time since, the outspoken fan-favorite has successfully turned his hand to promotion, podcasting, as well as analyst work for the UFC. 

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For Shevchenko, the Kyrgyzstan native co-headlined UFC 275 last weekend in Singapore against Brazilian contender, Taila Santos – narrowly leaving the Singapore Indoor Arena with her title in tow following a close, split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) success.

Chael Sonnen questions the persona of Valentina Shevchenko following UFC 275

Following her seventh consecutive successful defense of the flyweight throne, Shevchenko was the subject of some scrutiny from the aforenoted, Sonnen – who questioned her persona throughout her entire UFC run.

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“She (Valentina Shevchenko) just hasn’t a picked a side,” Chael Sonnen said on his official YouTube channel. “Anybody who has been in this organization (the UFC) as long as she has been in it and has never done anything to upset the audience is probably being pretty insincere. If you are caught on camera for seven straight years in some of your most glorious and some of most vulnerable moments and you never scuff your knee on the side of offending somebody, of being unsportsmanlike, or challenged of doing anything that will put you in a negative category.”

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“You are probably a very insincere person,” Chael Sonnen said of Valentina Shevchenko. “You’re probably acting and playing a character.” 

Off the back of her narrow victory against Santos, Shevchenko, who revealed post-fight that she had suffered a foot injury ahead of the UFC 275 co-headliner, has been linked with both an immediate title rematch against the Brazilian – as well as a bantamweight division move for a rematch with either Julianna Pena or a rubber match with Amanda Nunes.