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‘It’s not her style’ or skill - Valentina Shevchenko points out Amanda Nunes’ biggest advantage

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For Valentina Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes’ greatest strength doesn’t lie on fighting style and skills.

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Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes face off during their UFC 215 weigh-ins in 2017.
Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes face off during their UFC 215 weigh-ins in 2017.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

At this point, UFC double-champ Amanda Nunes is the advertised GOAT of women’s MMA, and for good reason. Apart from defending both bantamweight and featherweight titles at least twice, “The Lioness” established her status when she knocked out then-consensus GOAT Cris Cyborg in 2018.

Another name on the women’s MMA GOAT list is Valentina Shevchenko, who’s so far dominated her challengers since winning the 125-pound title in 2018. And as someone who had faced Nunes twice, the UFC’s women’s flyweight queen pointed out what she feels is her rival’s greatest strength.

“It’s not her style, it’s just she’s big and heavy,” Shevchenko told Joe Rogan in a recent episode of the JRE MMA Show.

“Everyone has power. If we’re speaking about 135 weight class, everyone has a lot of power. But Amanda, I think she’s just bigger than anyone. What is her walking weight? 160? 170?”

Shevchenko, who lost to Nunes both times, isn’t closing her doors on a possible third fight. And if it does happen, she isn’t planning on bulking up.

“I’m not gonna do anything special to lift up my weight. I don’t believe it’s gonna help. I believe it’s gonna be worse for the fighter. Because if in your whole life you (had a) certain body type, you know how to carry certain muscles — amount of muscles, and then suddenly, for the last two or three months, you start to carry way more,” she explained.

“So what’s gonna happen? You’re gonna be slower, you not gonna have same resistance for the whole fight because you have to carry more weight on top of you.

“So I will do the same. I just won’t do the last day weight cut for what I do (to make) 125. I’m not gonna lose (the last) six pounds.”

Shevchenko is fresh off her sixth successful title defense against Lauren Murphy at UFC 266 last month. Nunes, meanwhile, will defend her 135-pound strap for the sixth time against Julianna Peña at UFC 269 on December 11.