|Other names The Bullet|
Weight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)
Residence Lima, Peru
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Name Valentina Shevchenko
|Born March 7, 1988 (age 35) Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (1988-03-07) |
Similar Jéssica Andrade, Rose Namajunas, Amanda Nunes
Valentina Shevchenko (Russian: Валентина Анатольевна Шевченко; born (1988-03-07)March 7, 1988) is a Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai fighter who competes in the women's bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
- Early life
- Muay Thai and kickboxing
- Early career
- Legacy Fighting Championship
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Bantamweight Title Fight
- Flyweight Division
- Fighting style
- Muay Thai
- Mixed martial arts
Valentina Shevchenko was born in Frunze, Kirghizia, USSR on March 7, 1988 into a Russian family, and became interested in combat sports at an early age. She began with Taekwondo at age 5, under the influence of her mother who had practiced the sport and of her older sister Antonina. At age 12 she branched out into Muay Thai Kickboxing then free style Vale Tudo. Her kickboxing career began in Kyrgyzstan when at age 12 she knocked out a 22-year-old opponent, earning her the moniker "Bullet" from her trainer Pavel Fedotov because of her speed in the ring.
Muay Thai and kickboxing
From 2003 to 2015 Valentina Shevchenko collectively won more than 50 amateur/pro matches in K-1, Muay Thai, and kickboxing (five were won by technical knockout, three were won by knockout). She received her first and only loss in kickboxing when she fought Wang Cong (aka Cong Wang) in 2015. Shevchenko won gold when she competed in the IFMA championships, she defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk three times during these competitions. Shevchenko is considered to be one of the best female Muay Thai fighters in the world.
Valentina Shevchenko has competed in mixed martial arts since 2003 compiling a record of 14-3.
Legacy Fighting Championship
In 2014 it was announced that Legacy FC had signed Shevchenko for MMA and kickboxing. On February 27, 2015, Shevchenko faced Jan Finney at Legacy Fighting Championship 39, winning the fight via unanimous decision.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Shevchenko made her UFC debut as a short-notice replacement for Germaine de Randamie against Sarah Kaufman at UFC on Fox 17. She won the fight via split decision.
In her second fight for the promotion, Shevchenko faced Amanda Nunes on March 5, 2016, at UFC 196. Although she made an impressive and strong performance in the third round, her slow start in the first two gave the rounds to Nunes. She lost the fight by unanimous decision.
In her third fight for the promotion, Shevchenko faced former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm at UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko on July 23, 2016. After losing the first round to Holm, she rallied back to take over the fight and won a dominant unanimous decision.
Shevchenko faced Julianna Peña in a possible title eliminator match in the main event at UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña on January 28, 2017. She won the fight by armbar in the second round. The win also earned Shevchenko her first Performance of the Night bonus.
UFC Bantamweight Title Fight
Shevchenko was expected to rematch the current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes on July 8, 2017 at UFC 213, but on the day of the fight Nunes fell ill and pulled out of the fight. The doctors cleared Nunes to fight, but she didn't feel up to it, so the fight was called off. Joanna Jędrzejczyk offered to replace Nunes, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission could not clear her on such a short notice.
The rematch against Nunes was rescheduled to UFC 215 on September 9, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta. After a very close back-and-forth fight, Shevchenko lost the fight via split decision. Shevchenko voiced her disagreement with the judges' decision but she respected the outcome at the post fight conference interview.
Beginning September 2017 Valentia plans to drop 10lbs down to 125lbs for her next bout in the flyweight division rematch with Nunes.
A decorated kickboxer, Shevchenko is primarily known for precise counter-striking. She is recognized for an exceptional ability to gauge the distance of an opponent's attack, then retaliate with a variety of counterattacks. In a 2017 interview, Shevchenko noted the challenges of perfecting this technique in mixed martial arts. "It's different to fight a wrestler and stand-up fighter. To feel the distance of her punch, it's different", she said.
After dodging an opponent's strike, Shevchenko will often counter with a fast right hook, a spinning wheel kick, or a spinning back fist. On offense, she makes regular use of forward right hooks and two-punch combinations. She also utilizes an outside leg kick, regularly thrown at the end of a flurry, or in the early stages of a round.
In addition to her striking, Shevchenko is trained in grappling and jiu-jitsu, as demonstrated by her multiple take-downs against Holly Holm, and her armbar submission of Julianna Pena.