Valentina Shevchenko is not one to back down from a challenge, even if it means enduring a controversial draw and battling through a broken thumb. Following her electrifying showdown with Alexa Grasso at Noche UFC, which ended in a split draw, Shevchenko is keeping the door wide open for a potential trilogy with her fierce opponent.
In an exclusive interview with The MMA Hour, Shevchenko voiced her frustration with the decision, particularly the 10-8 scorecard awarded to Grasso in the fifth round. She firmly believed she had secured victory in three of the five rounds despite her early injury. Shevchenko explained, “I was thinking it was 3-2, my side. I was thinking it was going to be a split decision. It was a war. It was a grand fight. It was an amazing fight.”
What makes Shevchenko’s resilience even more remarkable is the fact that she sustained a broken thumb in the first round. Despite the excruciating pain, she soldiered on for four more rounds. She recalled, “I injured my hand in the first round. … I hit with a cross and it landed on the side and affected my thumb. I could feel it right away … in the first round. That was the reason I could not finish my submission. This affected me to pull my grip.”
The controversial nature of the fight naturally sparked discussions of a trilogy between Shevchenko and Grasso. Grasso, however, remained noncommittal, expressing a desire to allow other contenders their shot at the title. Shevchenko echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that she doesn’t want to stall the division’s progress.
“It’s hard for me to say exactly what I think is going to be next,” Shevchenko said. “Right now, I’m thinking about taking the [scans] I need for my hand, make sure that I will be healed for the next fight, and I don’t want to hold anyone in the division from moving forward as well. That’s why when I’m ready to fight, I will fight anyone.”
But the intriguing part of the conversation comes when Shevchenko suggests an ideal location for the trilogy bout – her home country of Kyrgyzstan. She believes that since the rematch happened on Mexican Independence Day, it’s only fair that the third fight takes place on Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day, August 31. While the UFC has never hosted an event in Kyrgyzstan, Shevchenko is hopeful that her country’s government and the promotion can work together to make it happen.
Shevchenko’s enthusiasm for her homeland’s potential involvement in the trilogy is palpable. She mentioned that government officials from Kyrgyzstan flew to the United States to witness her fight, underscoring the significance of the event to her nation.
However, the likelihood of a Kyrgyzstan event remains uncertain, given the UFC’s track record. A trilogy bout in Las Vegas, possibly at UFC 300, seems more feasible. But regardless of the location, one thing is clear – Valentina Shevchenko is far from retirement. She’s motivated by a desire to build her legacy and inspire the next generation of fighters.
In her own words, “If you could see in my history of fighting, I was always fighting a few generations of fighters. The female fighters who I fought with, some of them already have babies, families, forgot about fighting, don’t even remember that they are fighters. Some of them just recently are finishing their careers, but I’m still here, I’m still on top.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Trilogy
Q: Did Valentina Shevchenko win her recent fight against Alexa Grasso?
A: No, Valentina Shevchenko’s recent fight against Alexa Grasso ended in a split draw, with some controversy surrounding the decision.
Q: Did Valentina Shevchenko sustain any injuries during the fight?
A: Yes, Shevchenko suffered a broken thumb in the first round of the fight but continued to battle through four more rounds.
Q: Is there talk of a trilogy fight between Shevchenko and Grasso?
A: Yes, there is discussion about a trilogy fight, but both fighters seem open to other contenders getting a shot at the title before it happens.
Q: Where does Valentina Shevchenko propose the next fight take place?
A: Shevchenko suggests that the third fight of the trilogy should happen in her home country of Kyrgyzstan, specifically on Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day, August 31, to balance the equation since the rematch occurred on Mexican Independence Day.
Q: Is Valentina Shevchenko considering retirement?
A: No, Shevchenko is far from retirement. She is motivated to continue fighting, build her legacy, and inspire the next generation of fighters.