Every single time Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes step in the UFC Octagon, one question is bound to do the rounds in the days that follow. For how long do these ladies have to compete against lesser opposition before a trilogy fight takes place?
Nunes is the only fighter to beat Shevchenko in the UFC while Shevchenko is the only fighter to push the double champ to the absolute edge during her unbeaten run at bantamweight.
In a recent edition of the DC-Helwani Show, former UFC double champ Daniel Cormier reflected on Valentina Shevchenko's win over Jessica Andrade at UFC 261.
DC is convinced that the UFC flyweight champion possesses more skill than Amanda Nunes in the striking as well as the grappling departments. However, Daniel Cormier believes Nunes will be able to defeat Shevchenko due to her power and size advantage:
"In terms of clean striking, in terms of wrestling, I think Valentina (Shevchenko) is a little better. I think Amanda (Nunes) is a little bigger, Amanda's more powerful, she hits harder. Amanda can finish you with her hands, just knock you out. But I think Valentina Shevchenko is better skill-for-skill. But we know when they fight, Amanda wins," said Daniel Cormier.
Valentina Shevchenko (21-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Amanda Nunes (21-4 MMA, 14-1 UFC) took each other to judges' scorecards in two closely fought bouts. Although Nunes emerged victorious on both occasions, the margin of victory was extremely slim.
Barring Jennifer Maia and Germaine De Randamie, there has been a glaring skill gap between the champion and the rest of the bantamweight division. Calls for a trilogy fight between Nunes and Shevchenko have gotten louder following lopsided wins by both fighters in their respective divisions.
Valentina Shevchenko is waiting patiently for the trilogy fight against Amanda Nunes
However wide the skill gap is, Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko still have upcoming challengers in their respective divisions. UFC president Dana White has said that he will not consider booking the trilogy fight unless both fighters demand it.
While speaking to Laura Sanko backstage after defeating Jessica Andrade at UFC 261, Valentina Shevchenko stated that she believes the trilogy fight will happen down the road. Shevchenko went on to say that she will strive to get better until the bout is booked.
"I truly believe this fight is gonna happen sometime. I am not rushing things... I know when it (the trilogy fight) comes, it comes by itself. And when it comes, it's gonna be a huge deal, huge exposure. So I am gonna wait patiently," said Valentina Shevchenko.