Reigning UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko believes a future bantamweight division return against either current champion, Julianna Pena, or former champion and two-time foe, Amanda Nunes is quite likely, before the close of 2022.
Shevchenko, the current flyweight champion, is slated to co-headline UFC 275 on June 11. in Singapore – drawing surging contender and Brazil native, Taila Santos in an attempt to secure her stunning, seventh successful defense of the flyweight throne.
The Kyrgyzstan native most recently featured in the co-headliner of UFC 266 back in September of last year, turning in a dominant striking performance en route to an eventual fourth round ground strikes win over Lauren Murphy.
As for a division higher, newly minted bantamweight champion, Pena, who previously shared the Octagon with Shevchenko – is slated to headline UFC 277 on July 30. at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas – matching with Nunes in a title re-run.
Valentina Shevchenko welcomes a bantamweight title return before the close of this year
Moving to the flyweight division following a second career loss to then-champion, Nunes at UFC 215 in September 2017, Shevchenko has embarked on an eight-fight winning spree at 125lbs. And amid her continual roughshod run through contenders, Shevchenko firmly flirted with a bantamweight title excursion against either Pena or Nunes before the end of this annum.
“I think so, I think there is always a chance,” Valentina Shevchenko told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour when asked if she would consider a move back to the bantamweight division. “There is always a chance, and I think – the bigger fight, the better, right?”
“I think by the end of the year, I think it’s going to be a good fight,” Valentina Shevchenko said of a title fight with Pena or Nunes. “Also, we have to have to see – Miesha Tate is coming to 125 in July, so it’s like – many things can happen, many things can change, right? I think it’s possible, it’s very, very, very possible.”
In her first fight with Nunes back in March 2016 at UFC 196, Shevchenko suffered a unanimous decision loss to the current featherweight champion – however, managed to stop reigning gold holder, Pena with a second round armbar in the main event of UFC Fight Night Denver in January 2017.