UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is open to facing Jessica Andrade next.
Shevchenko defended her women’s flyweight title for the fourth time following a dominant unanimous decision victory over Jennifer Maia in the UFC 255 co-main event this past weekend.
Given her overall dominance in the flyweight division, the attention quickly turned to who would face her next.
UFC president Dana White earmarked former women’s strawweight champion and recent flyweight debutant Jessica Andrade as a potential problem for “Bullet” with that being a fight many observers would like to see next.
And while Shevchenko believes Andrade should fight Lauren Murphy — currently on a four-fight winning streak — in a title eliminator next, that would mean a long waiting period for the champion.
And so, she’s all for facing Andrade in her next fight.
“I’ll take any opponent they put in front of me.” Valentina told Combate (via Bloody Elbow). “But I think that the fairest thing would be to put Jessica Andrade and Lauren Murphy to face each other, but I don’t want to wait that long.
“That fight would be in a few months, then I would have to wait to face the winner a few more months after that. I don’t intend to wait too long, so why not fight Jessica? Fine by me.”
A fight with Andrade is guaranteed to have action as many observers took issue with Shevchenko’s performance against Maia where she notably decided to outgrapple a jiu-jitsu black belt.
As far as Shevchenko is concerned, that’s a gameplan that came to her during the fight.
“She didn’t surprise me. I expected a tough fight,” Shevchenko explained. “I didn’t expect it to be an easy fight, I’m not one to believe only in the numbers and put the rest of the data aside. I study my opponents and I watch their fights. I knew she was going to be tough. By analyzing Jennifer’s body, I knew she wasn’t going to be heavy, but dense.
“Some people are smoother, others are denser. Jennifer is hard to break. I have a good build and so does Jennifer. Fortunately, I was prepared for a hard fight. My plan was to walk out with the victory, I train for everything and let my body choose which technique to use. It seems my body chose to grapple.”
Given the power that Andrade possesses, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Shevchenko decided to grapple with her either.
Who do you think comes out on top between Shevchenko and Andrade?