Valentina Shevchenko says Zhang Weili must prove herself before earning a shot at the flyweight title
Valentina Shevchenko believes reigning UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili still has a lot of things to prove in her own division before she potentially moves up to flyweight to challenge the former for the flyweight title. (h/t MMA Fighting)
After beating Jessica Andrade to capture the strawweight title, Weili recently expressed the desire to move up to flyweight to fight Shevchenko for the title in a bid to achieve 'champ-champ' status.
While Shevchenko has no qualms about letting Weili take a crack at her title, she is of the view that the Chinese fighter must earn the shot by successfully defending her own title against the top contenders in her own division.
Notably, Shevchenko is set to go to battle against Katlyn Chookagian in the co-main event at UFC 247 next weekend inside the Octagon, Zhang is set to take on former strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-headliner at UFC 248 in March.
If both fighters win their respective fights, it could very well set them up for a monumental champion versus champion match up in the near future. Speaking to MMA Fighting, Shevchenko laid down the gauntlet for Weili.
“My thoughts on this, as you mentioned, inside 125 [pound] division, I agree to fight with anyone who goes all the way on the top, gets their position and ready for the fight, ready for the title. I accept to take anyone. But you know, for example, in this situation with a different weight class it’s not just like this — I accept it, I take it.
I think that the person who tries to get this fight has to show and prove that she’s deserving this opportunity. She has a lot of things to prove yet,” Shevchenko said. “I’m really open but I would say I would accept it with someone who will show that they are there [at the top].”Published 03 Feb 2020, 21:34 IST