On many occasions, Valentina Shevchenko has stated that her nationality is Russian, despite being born in Kyrgyzstan. However, Shevchenko has spent time in many countries teaching martial arts and has picked up plenty of languages during her time in these countries.
The former UFC women's flyweight champion can speak Russian, English and Spanish. Shevchenko's Spanish was developed over many years in Latin America, teaching martial arts in Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Shevchenko has been a Peruvian citizen since 2008, after moving there to teach martial arts and train in MMA with Pavel Fedotov. Her family has Kyrgyzstani citizenship, with her mother being Kyrgyzstan's national Muay Thai association president. Shevchenko's father, Anatoly Shevchenko, also played for the Kyrgyz national football team.
Despite taking Peruvian citizenship, Valentina Shevchenko's birth country is very proud to have her representing them. In 2019, the UFC champion was awarded the Dank Order by Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.
The 35-year-old spent around eight years in Latin America while teaching martial arts in various countries. However, Shevchenko now lives in Las Vegas, most likely due to her demands within the UFC.
'Bullet' lost the UFC flyweight title to Alexa Grasso in the co-main event of the UFC 285 PPV event. Her defeat is one of the biggest upsets in the UFC women's divisions' history. The long title reign prior to the loss warranted Valentina Shevchenko an immediate rematch. She will challenge Grasso for the title in the main event of UFC Fight Night 227 scheduled to take place on September 16.
Valentina Shevchenko received a warm welcome in Kyrgyzstan during a 2019 visit to the country
Valentina Shevchenko has adopted a lifestyle that enables her to train and constantly add new wrinkles to her game. As a result, she could not live in Kyrgyzstan for quite a few years.
Before her first title defense against Jessica Eye, Valentina Shevchenko traveled to her native country and received a warm welcome. She was invited by the Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who praised Shevchenko's coach Pavel Fedotov for transforming her into a world-class talent. While speaking to a Russian news outlet Fight News about the meeting, Shevchenko said:
“I had the opportunity to go to Kyrgyzstan. I stayed there only a week and it turned out amazing. The president himself accepted me. Also, my people were happy to see the UFC champion’s belt, which charged me with even more energy.”
"First of all, it's all about our lifestyle. I know that when I stay in one place for a long time, I begin to feel that I need to go somewhere to get a charge of new energy. Also, classes at different training camps provide an amazing opportunity to spar with different opponents, try new techniques, which gives you a certain advantage. Because you never know who you will have to fight next time in the cage.”
Watch glimpses of Valentina Shevchenko's meeting with Kyrgyz president below: