Valentina Shevchenko has established herself as one of the most dominant UFC women's champions, and in Javier Mendez's eyes that earns her a spot on his Mount Rushmore of WMMA.
In a new interview with 'The Schmo', Mendez refused to boil down his picks for the most legendary female fighters to just four. He said:
"There's eight. Obviously Amanda Nunes is there. Rose [Namajunas] to me is there. Valentina Shevchenko for darn sure is there. Ronda Rousey is definitely there. Holly Holm to me is there also. Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] is six. I got [Cris] Cyborg, seven. And Weili [Zhang]. Gina [Carano] was a sweetheart but she wasn't ... there was a new era, and back then how can you put Gina in when Cyborg did what she did. You can't."
Watch Javier Mendez list his WMMA Mount Rushmore below:
Valentina Shevchenko's record speaks for itself. She's 23-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC with seven title fight wins. She holds the record in the women's flyweight division for longest win streak (8), most knockouts (4), and most takedowns (28). With the way she's looked over her title reign, there's a real chance she could be the one to break Demetrious Johnson's UFC record for most title defenses (11).
Leaving Gina Carano out of his list is certainly a controversial move. Carano carried WMMA to new heights of popularity during her run with EliteXC and Strikeforce, and it's a real question as to whether women would even be in the UFC without Carano's run from 2006 to 2009 raising the sport's profile.
As for Holly Holm's accomplishments, she was just inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. It's very likely that she'll end up in the UFC Hall of Fame as well once she retires, which definitely justifies Javier Mendez picking her.
Javier Mendez sees Weili Zhang becoming champion again with Henry Cejudo in her corner
Javier Mendez couldn't leave Weili Zhang off his Mount Rushmore, especially after her impressive mauling of Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275. He said:
"I definitely see her as future champ. She's improved so much from the last fight and I'm wondering if the fact that Henry [Cejudo] put some mental things on her to make her mentally stronger. Because she is a specimen of an athlete, boy is she a great athlete. And the way she fought was so smart. And I was thinking hmmm definite change. What has she done different than the previous fights? Well, I think Henry's becoming a master strategist."
Zhang joined up with Henry Cejudo at Fight Ready MMA for her second fight against Rose Namajunas. Zhang came up short in that fight, but her wrestling and strength were on display for all to see against Jedrzejczyk. It's no surprise Javier Mendez is giving their team-up a glowing endorsement.
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