UFC Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko’s patience is wearing thin regarding the lack of clarity surrounding her next fight.
Shevchenko defended her title at UFC 275 last June, earning a split decision victory over Taila Santos. Santos repeatedly made her desire for a second fight against Shevchenko known, even going as far as claiming that Shevchenko was afraid to rematch her.
Some agreed that an immediate rematch was warranted before Shevchenko said that Santos would have to earn it, and Santos ended up getting booked with Erin Blanchfield.
With the Santos rematch on the shelf, Shevchenko’s next UFC outing remains uncertain. She has a slew of potential challengers, including Manon Fiorot, who make a strong case for a title shot. However, Fiorot has stated that she may not be ready to fight again until August as she recovers from injury.
As of this writing, Shevchenko hasn’t fought in seven months. She’s become accustomed to quick turnarounds in between fights and the current hiatus is a bit of a rarity.
Shevchenko has been linked to potential super fights against Zhang Weili and Amanda Nunes. But first, she intends to defend her title against a top contender, although it’s uncertain who the next challenger will be.
Valentina Shevchenko To Flyweights: “Why So Quiet?”
During a recent interview with UFC writer E. Spencer Kyte, Shevchenko explained the potential reasoning behind her prolonged absence.
“I wanted to fight in December, but it’s my understanding that it was hard to find an opponent,” Shevchenko said. “I’m just here, training all the time, almost every day, waiting for the call. I’ve been ready since I don’t know — since September?
“I want to fight frequently, but I realize this is a problem for the UFC to find opponents in order for me to fight frequently. My understanding is that everyone would love to fight for a title, so what’s happening with you girls? Why so quiet?”
Another flyweight contender who has been linked to Shevchenko is Alexa Grasso. She defeated Viviane Araújo in her last fight, although a timeframe for her return remains cloudy.
Weili expressed a profound interest in facing off with Shevchenko in the future. She re-claimed the strawweight title by finishing Carla Esparza at UFC 281.
An announcement regarding Shevchenko’s next fight could come in weeks. In the meantime, she remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the details surrounding her next fight.
All quotes from UFC.com