LAS VEGAS – Saturday, UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko once again put on a masterclass title defense when she defeated Lauren Murphy via fourth-round TKO.
While many onlookers were impressed by the Kyrgyzstani fighter’s output and dominance, Shevchenko (22-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) indicated at a post-fight news conference the fight played out how she expected as she moved toward her ultimate goal of “untouchable.”
“Lauren, she’s a tough opponent,” Shevchenko told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the post-fight news conference. “She’s physical and very strong but I wanted to play my game. My ultimate goal as a martial artist is to reach the level when your opponents, when they’re fighting each other, (they look) furious, powerful, very strong. But when they fight me, it’s like, they cannot touch you but you can finish them. It’s kind of like what I want (to) be as a martial artist: untouchable. This is kind of next level of martial artist.”
Fresh off her victory, Shevchenko isn’t certain what the future holds. She was unwilling to call for an opponent and said she’ll accept whoever the UFC brings her way, regardless of whether or not it means a trilogy fight against women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (15-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC).
“In the flyweight division, there are so many strong fighters,” Shevchenko said. “I didn’t know how the fight was going to be (between) Jessica Andrade and Cynthia Calvillo. Cynthia was kind of top-level but Jessica just smashed her so I don’t know who’s the next opponent but I can say in (the) flyweight division, there is every time more and more names coming up so I’m ready to fight all of them.”
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As for a timeline, Shevchenko has some minor issues she’d like to address – but she doesn’t expect a lengthy recovery.
“I’m pretty healthy,” Shevchenko said. “I just have small things after the fight during the training camp. It’s going to be things that (I take care of) very quickly and easily. So right now what is next for me is next Saturday, (the) fight of my sister. She is coming into her fight week and I will be in her corner, supporting her so she’s going to all the same. I don’t know when is next because I’m ready to fight tomorrow. But what does the UFC have for me? It (could be) different.”
UFC 266 took place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. The main card streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPNews/ESPN+.
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