Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is taking no chances ahead of her next title defense. Paired up against former strawweight queen Jessica Andrade for a bout at UFC 261, ‘Bullet’ claims to have studied all aspects of her opponent’s game after watching a number of the Brazilian’s fights.
In an interview with Combate, Shevchenko explained how she has been taking Andrade seriously, just like all her previous challengers. However, the champ made a point of noting that she can’t be too careful, nor worry too much about what ‘Bate Estaca’ might do. In order to be successful, Shevchenko believes that finding the right time to be aggressive is key.
“I’ve been preparing just like I did for my past opponents,” Shevchenko explained. “I’m very focused on myself, on my well-being, in a good preparation. To be honest, that’s all that matters to me. I’ve watched her fights, I know everything about her already. I don’t think about much more than that.”
“In a fight, you have to be careful everywhere. It’s a fight. At the same time, you can’t be too careful. You need to play your game, find an advantage. That’s how I am. I’m pretty careful about everything all the time. But when I have to be aggressive, I’m aggressive.”
Although the Kyrgyzstan-born fighter training out of Peru isn’t predicting a precise outcome for the title fight, she has guaranteed a few other things. When asked what fans can expect from her in the Octagon, Shevchenko named some of her skills fans are bound to witness, not mention having her hand raised at the end once again.
“It’s going to be a good fight. What I can promise is that I will show all I have in this fight. Technique, heart, power, speed, and, of course, a lot of damage,” Shevchenko said. “You don’t know what surprises might come from me, but they’re all good surprises. Chaos, surprises and a finish. And me winning. But that’s not a surprise.”
Currently on a six-fight winning streak, Valentina Shevchenko (20-3) has defeated Jennifer Maia, Liz Carmouche and Katlyn Chookagian in her last three outings. The 33-year-old’s last loss came back in September 2017, when she dropped a split decision to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in her first attempt to capture UFC gold.
UFC 261 takes place on April 24, in Jacksonville, Florida. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a rematch for the welterweight title between champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Jorge Masvidal. A women’s strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas is set for the co-main event.