Shevchenko is coming off the heels of the toughest title defense of her 125-pound run. She took on Taila Santos during the UFC 275 co-main event and she edged the scorecards after a hard-fought five rounds (48-47, 47-48, 49-46).
Shevchenko (23-3) continued her legacy as the greatest UFC women’s flyweight fighter ever, notching her eighth title defense since winning the belt in 2018.
Well, Sonnen recently questioned why Shevchenko, despite her long championship reign, hasn’t connected with fans like other fighters have. In a recent YouTube video titled “Why don’t you like Valentina Shevchenko?” “The American Gangster” gave his take.
“She just hasn’t picked a side. Anybody who has been in this organization as long as she has been in it and has never done anything to upset the audience is probably being pretty insincere,” Sonnen said via Sportskeeda.com.
“If you are caught on camera for seven straight years in some of your most glorious and some of your most vulnerable moments and you never scuff your knee on the side of offending somebody, of being unsportsman-like, of challenged of doing anything that will put you in a negative category; you are probably a very insincere person. You’re probably acting and playing a character.”
Shevchenko Is Eyeing a Fight With the Winner of Lauren Murphy vs. Meisha Tate, Potentially Wants to Battle Winner of Pena vs. Nunes 2
Besides an immediate rematch with Santos, there are a few directions the UFC can go with Shevchenko. On July 2 at UFC 276, a presumed top-contender clash between Lauren Murphy and former women’s 135-pound champion Meisha Tate will go down.
During the UFC 275 post-fight press conference, Shevchenko shared that although she recently said she’d be open to fighting the winner of the UFC 277 rematch between current 135-pound queen Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes, she’ll be watching Murphy vs. Tate as well.
“It’s still something that I really consider,” Shevchenko said via MMA Junkie. “But also, I have to mention that July we have in flyweight an amazing fight between two very strong fighters: Lauren Murphy and Miesha Tate.
“So it’s going to be an amazing fight, and I think if Lauren Murphy gets the victory, rematch (with me) maybe – but not that soon. Miesha Tate wins the fight, I think this is what fans are going to love to see: end of the year, pay-per-view, main event. I think it’s going to be great.”
Shevchenko Weighed In at 130 Pounds on UFC 275 Fight Day
Shevchenko said during the presser that she weighed in at 130 pounds the day of her fight with Santos in Singapore. And if she chooses to fight the winner of Pena vs. Nunes, she’ll start working on adding size to her frame.
“But still, another option is Julianna and Amanda at bantamweight, and once it’s going to be more toward finalizing, I will start to work on building my body a little bit heavier – just a little bit so not to lose the speed,” Shevchenko continued. “It’s a lot of options for me, just to choose which one.”