Two of the UFC's most dominant champions, Amanda 'The Lioness' Nunes and Valentina 'Bullet' Shevchenko, have shared the octagon on two occasions. Now, it seems as though the UFC are leaning towards booking a trilogy bout.
Dana White seems open to the idea of Nunes vs. Shevchenko 3. If Nunes and Shevchenko defend their titles again, the trilogy would be the logical fight to book. It's no secret that both fighters will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame one day.
Nunes and Shevchenko have been two exceptional UFC champions. Amanda Nunes is the current UFC women's featherweight and bantamweight champion, while Shevchenko is the current UFC women's flyweight champion.
Both women have been excellent ambassadors of the sport and should have an opportunity to get one definitive victory. Nunes may have won both fights, but the idea of getting a definitive victory could still be appealing.
This list looks at five reasons why the UFC should book a trilogy bout between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko.
#5. UFC can promote the bout as a clash of champions
Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko have fought in the UFC twice before; under two different circumstances. When they fought at UFC 196 and UFC 215, both women competed in the women's bantamweight division. Since then, a lot has changed in both Nunes and Shevchenko's respective careers.
If the UFC booked the trilogy for the women's bantamweight championship, they'd be able to promote it as a clash of champions.
In 2018, Shevchenko moved down to flyweight after losing Nunes in the rematch and didn't waste time establishing herself in the new division. Shevchenko submitted Priscila Cachoeira and was awarded the Performance of the Night bonus.
Nunes, on the other hand, went on to make history of her own. 'The Lioness' moved up to 145 lbs and defeated Cris Cyborg by first-round knockout to become the UFC women's featherweight champion. In doingn so, Nunes became the first woman to become a simultaneous two-division UFC champion.
A potential champion vs. champion trilogy might generate more interest amongst casual viewers as well.
If the bout happens, it'll likely take place at bantamweight. This would give Valentina Shevchenko a chance to snatch Nunes' second belt. She would also, in turn, take Nunes' status as a two-division champion as her own.
Amanda Nunes, on the other hand, might be hungry to prove herself after a controversial win in the second fight with Shevchenko. A decisive win over Valentina Shevchenko could be what Nunes needs to seal the GWOAT discussion.
#4. Shevchenko has been a dominant UFC women's flyweight champion
Since defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacant UFC women's flyweight belt, Shevchenko has been a dominant champion. 'Bullet' has successfully defended the UFC women's flyweight championship six times and has outclassed her opponents in every aspect.
In her title defenses, it is clear that Shevchenko's skill level is head and shoulders above her challengers. Shevchenko continues to cement her legacy in the sport with each performance. Not only has she established her dominance in the flyweight division, but she has looked unbeatable.
Shevchenko was a recent guest on Joe Rogan's podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, where they spoke about her performances at 125 lbs. Rogan praised Shevchenko's skillset and made an interesting comment on her fights since moving down to 125 lbs.
“You’re not just UFC champion, you’re one of the best champions. It’s very unique to watch you fight because you’re one of those people like Anderson Silva in his prime, where you’ve kind of cleaned out your division. And it’s no disrespect to your opponents. But, some of your opponents when I’m watching you fight them, I’m not thinking are they going to beat you. I’m thinking what are you going to do to them,” said Joe Rogan.
Check out her appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience below:
Shevchenko has clearly reached all-time great status and it may be the perfect time to complete the trilogy with Nunes.
#3. Amanda Nunes has reached GOAT status as two-division UFC champion
Since the rematch with Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes has arguably become the greatest women's MMA fighter of all time. Nunes has not only cleaned out the women's bantamweight division, but she has also cleaned out the women's featherweight division.
Nunes has successfully defended her UFC women's bantamweight championship five times and her UFC women's featherweight championship twice. This is unheard of, especially considering other two-division champions end up relinquishing one of their titles.
Nunes hasn't achieved GOAT status just by winning her fights; it's the manner in which she's won that separates her from the rest. During her impressive 12-fight win streak, Nunes has defeated former UFC champions including Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Germaine de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko.
Nunes has raised the bar for women's MMA and it could be a while before anybody can surpass her.
#2. The rematch at UFC 215 was a close fight
The rematch between Nunes and Shevchenko at UFC 215 was a very close fight. Like their first meeting, the rematch went the distance. However, this time, Nunes won by split decision. Many feel Shevchenko did enough and should've been awarded the split decision win.
With the rematch being as close as it was, that should be another reason the UFC consider booking a trilogy. Even though Nunes won the first fight by unanimous decision, it's much harder to argue that she was the clear winner in the rematch.
Two judges scored the contest 48-47 for Nunes, while one had the bout 48-47 in favor of Shevchenko. However, most rounds were a toss-up and it was hard to identify a clear victor in either of the frames.
Shevchenko was upset during her post-fight interview and said that she didn't agree with the decision. She stated that Nunes didn't hit her with any significant strikes or do any damage when she took her down.
Based on their success since the rematch, Nunes vs. Shevchenko 3 could be their best fight yet.
#1. The trilogy could possibly lead to a fourth fight and more
Lastly, the UFC should book the trilogy between Nunes and Shevchenko is because it could possibly lead to a fourth fight. With the potential trilogy being at bantamweight, the possibility of a fourth fight taking place at featherweight shouldn't be ruled out.
Shevchenko has all the tools to beat Nunes and become a two-division champion. If Shevchenko defeats Nunes, the next logical step would be to have them fight for Nunes' women's featherweight championship. This would give Shevchenko a historic opportunity to become the first ever three-division champion in the UFC.
A third and fourth bout between Nunes and Shevchenko could be massive for the UFC and women's MMA.
In the meantime, there'd be enough time for new contenders to emerge at flyweight and bantamweight. Since Shevchenko will likely return to flyweight, the UFC could book interim title fights in both divisions.
Depending on the outcome, Nunes and Shevchenko could have an established contender and undisputed championship bout immediately following their fight.