Speaking with James Lynch for Middle Easy, Shevchenko covered a myriad of topics. They talked about parity within her recent UFC 275 title defense against Taila Santos, relevant contenders within the 125-pound class, and more.
While giving a broader overview of the Oliveira vs Makhachev fight, Valentina Shevchenko said:
"Oliveira, he is so dangerous, but he is fighting like a crazy one. He can beat, but he can receive as well and it's going to be cool. Islam, he's like more calm, more controlled. More like look in his moment. When he has to wrestle, he will wrestle. When he has to like strike, he will strike. So yeah, it's going to be super crazy and a great fight."
When addressing Makhachev being the betting favorite and if she's surprised by that, Shevchenko said:
"Yes, because Charles Oliveira fought more top ranked opponents than Islam. Actually, yeah, he fought all top fighters in the weight division, beat them all, and actually showed, yes, I am belongs here and this is why I hold the belt. Islam, he never had an opportunity to fight someone who is more ranked than him. I mean like top ranked, higher ranked in the top five."
See the interview excerpt/video below
The 155-pound belt is vacant and Makhachev's clash with Oliveira will change that once they get locked into the cage this October.
What's next for Valentina Shevchenko?
'Bullet' last competed in the aforementioned Santos bout, which Shevchenko won via split decision in June. Valentina Shevchenko may have some cool options ahead of her that aren't limited to a sequel affair versus Santos for flyweight gold.
A triogy fight versus Amanda Nunes is something that Dana White and Nunes alike have now shown interest in.
'Bullet' herself has made her intentions known by offering up some social media commentary after Amanda Nunes regained her bantamweight belt in the Julianna Pena rematch at UFC 277.
The first Amanda Nunes bout saw Valentina Shevchenko lose via unanimous decision at UFC 196 in March 2016.
The second clash between Shevchenko and Nunes saw 'The Lioness' retain her bantamweight title by way of a split decision at UFC 215 in September 2017. That being said, there were many who thought this was a polarizing call. They believe Shevchenko should have actually been minted as the 135-pound champion that night in Alberta.