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"Where is the bravado in that?" - Chael Sonnen down plays Valentina Shevchenko's potential move up to bantamweight

(L to R) Julianna Pena, Amanda Nunes (via ufc.com), Valentina Shevchenko, Chael Sonnen (via @Chael Sonnen on YouTube)
(L to R) Julianna Pena, Amanda Nunes (via ufc.com), Valentina Shevchenko, Chael Sonnen (via @Chael Sonnen on YouTube)
Sayan Nag

Chael Sonnen is not excited about Valentina Shevchenko's potential move up to bantamweight. 'Bullet' recently teased a return to 135 lbs to fight for the title. 'The American Gangster' doesn't find the matchup interesting as Shevchenko already holds a submission win over the bantamweight champion Julianna Pena.

The former UFC middleweight also opined that the matchup has very little incentive for 'The Venezuelan Vixen', who will have to put her belt on the line. Sonnen recently said on his YouTube show:

"What is the point of the champion in Shevchenko going up to a 135 pounds if she's taking on somebody who she's not only beaten, she's already finished them. Where is the bravado in that? Where is the bravery? What is interesting about that... Julianna's gotta put her belt on the line, the samller person who's also a champion [Shevchenko] does not have to put their belt on the line. I mean are these selling features? Is this interesting to you in the least?"

Watch Sonnen's take on Shevchenko's potential move up to bantamweight below:

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"She looked different" - Valentina Shevchenko compares Amanda Nunes' performance against herself and Julianna Pena

Valentina Shevchenko holds a perfect UFC record barring two bantamweight losses to Amanda Nunes. While the UFC women's flyweight champion dropped a close unanimous decision in the first outing, the rematch ended in a controversial split decision loss for her.

Nunes' dominant status skyrocketed over the years with her only apparent match out of her way. 'The Lioness' was a -1200 favorite going into her ninth title defense against Julianna Pena at UFC 269.

However, Nunes suffered a second-round submission loss to Pena in one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport.

Interestingly, Shevchenko wasn't totally shocked by Nunes' defeat, unlike many others. 'Bullet' claimed to have noticed a change in the former bantamweight champion going into her fight against Pena.

According to Shevchenko, 'The Lioness' was not in the best fight shape during her title defense against 'The Venezuelan Vixen'. Comparing Nunes' performance against herself and Pena, Shevchenko claimed the former bantamweight champion had a different set of eyes during their bout.

The Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian fighter told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour:

"I was not in shock. Of course, it was surprising, but I didn’t see Amanda in the same fight shape as she used to be in the fight. For example, when we fought together, she was completely different eyes, different everything. In the Julianna fight, she was a little bit more relaxed. I don’t know how she prepared for this fight, but she looked different.”

Catch Valentina Shevchenko's appearance on The MMA Hour below:

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Edited by David Andrew

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