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WATCH: Valentina Shevchenko discusses UFC 255 title bout against Jennifer Maia

Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko
Anwesha Nag
Modified 18 Nov 2020, 22:30 IST

UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will face Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 this coming weekend. The two women will co-main event the card, while Deiveson Figueiredo and Alex Perez will fight it out for the men's flyweight title in the main event.

Ahead of her fourth title defense since she won it from Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2018, Valentina Shevchenko sat down with Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole to discuss her upcoming bout and other things.

Valentina Shevchenko on her next UFC opponent.

Valentina Shevchenko's opponent, Jennifer Maia, has won three of her last four fights. In her last outing, she defeated Joanne Calderwood, whom Shevchenko was originally set to face in June. But the champ had to pull out of that bout due to an injury.

But Calderwood lost her shot at the title as she lost against Maia in August via armbar submission. Kevin Iole asked whether Shevchenko was surprised that Jennifer Maia defeated the top contender and bagged the title shot against her.

Valentina Shevchenko said that she was not.

"I had kind of like the feeling it can go the other way. I potentially could see Maia beating Calderwood. And no, it wasn't any surprise for me. There is no surprises for me."

On being a UFC Champion for two years

It has been nearly two years since Valentina Shevchenko defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December, 2018. She has defended her title three times since, emerging victorious in each.

Valentina Shevchenko was asked in the interview if being a long-time champion and carrying out the responsibilities that come with it have been a pressure on her in the last two years.

Shevchenko said it was far from it. She is a veteran fighter and all the years of experience have gone on to prepare her for this exact position.

"It's perfect. It's where I want to be. I know exactly what pressure I have. I know exactly what's the main thing. The main thing is winning the fight. Of course, doing everything that I have to do to promote the fight before the fight. But at the same time, I know how to control my energy, to leave everything for the fight... I was prepared all my life to be where I am right now. That's why I know exactly what I have to do."

Valentina's sister, Antonina Shevchenko, is also fighting on the same card that night. She is facing Ariane Lipski at flyweight.

Published 18 Nov 2020, 22:30 IST
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