UFC 261 Embedded: Episode 4 - Justin Gaethje has an awkward interaction with Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko (left); Justin Gaethje (right)
Valentina Shevchenko (left); Justin Gaethje (right)
Bhavesh Purohit

Justin Gaethje is well-known for being incredibly dextrous inside the UFC octagon. However, the 32-year-old wasn't nearly as smooth when interacting with UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.

In the latest episode of the UFC 261 Embedded series, 'The Highlight' had a hilarious back-and-forth with Shevchenko, which was unfortunately marred by an interval of awkwardness.

Gaethje and Shevchenko crossed paths inside the athlete hotel ahead of UFC 261. Realizing that he forgot to greet the women's flyweight champion, Gaethje turned over and waved at her.

When 'Bullet' asked Justin Gaethje how he was doing, the number two ranked lightweight instantly exclaimed: "Can't wait to see you..." and proceeded to murmur "punch someone in the face" in hushed tones as Shevchenko walked away.


Shevchenko will face Jessica Andrade at UFC 261. Both women are coming off dominant wins from their previous fights. While Shevchenko overpowered Jennifer Maia to a unanimous decision victory at UFC 255, Andrade made quick work of Katlyn Chookagian in her flyweight debut at UFC Fight Island 6.

Andrade's impressive display against Chookagian earned her the number one contender spot in the UFC women's flyweight division. The Brazilian will be the fifth challenger to go up against Shevchenko since 'Bullet' claimed her flyweight championship in December 2020.

Shevchenko won the title after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231. She has since defended her belt on four occasions against the likes of Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Katlyn Chookagian, and Jennifer Maia.

Will Justin Gaethje be present at UFC 261?

Justin Gaethje is a teammate of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Both fighters train under renowned MMA coach Trevor Wittman. 'The Highlight' will most likely be in Usman's corner at UFC 261, which will also include newly-crowned heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou.

The last time Gaethje set foot inside the octagon was in October 2020 at UFC 254. He faced Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight championship but fell short in his effort to dethrone 'The Eagle'.

Although there is no confirmation regarding his next potential opponent, Rafael dos Anjos seems interested in going up against Justin Gaethje. The Brazilian recently took to Twitter to express his desire in fighting the 32-year-old.

Edited by Avinash Tewari
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