UFC women’s flyweight champion believes that the trilogy fight between her and double-champion Amanda Nunes is inevitable.
Following her victory at UFC 261, Shevchenko told MMA Fighting that even without pushing for it, a third fight against Nunes is bound to happen. Said Shevchenko:
“I just feel it’s going to happen/ Without putting all this pressure to someone, Ok, let’s do it now. It’s like everything good in a good time. That’s why it’s going to happen, I know for sure. Probably when time is perfect time for this fight. It’s going to happen. It’s like I cannot force someone like OK, let’s go fight me. If someone don’t want to fight, to have this fight, no one can force no one.
“Why I’m feeling like I’m not rushing or doing much of this stuff, I just feel it’s going to happen without extra power. Because as I say every time, if we continue successfully in our own weight class divisions, it’s going to be just only one fight that makes sense.”
But while Shevchenko doesn’t want to force it to happen, the clamor for a third fight is already gaining steam, and rightfully so, given the competitive nature of their first two encounters.
Time to Fight Again?
Following Shevchenko’s stoppage win over Jessica Andrade at UFC 261, Bullet now has successfully defended the UFC women’s flyweight title five consecutive times, three by knockout and two by clear unanimous decision wins. She has gone undefeated since moving back to her natural weight and has won seven consecutive fights since disputably losing to Nunes in their rematch at UFC 215.
In that fight, Nunes and Shevchenko went back and forth in a war between the two best female fighters in the sport today. Nunes barely edged Shevchenko in total strikes landed at 90-85 but Bullet was the aggressor throughout the fight, throwing 29 more strikes than Nunes. In the end, the judges gave Nunes the win via split decision.
The Lioness also beat Shevchenko in their first bout at UFC 196. Nunes started that fight as the dominant fighter but Shevchenko closed out strong and nearly turned the tables on Nunes. The Brazilian won that fight by decision but had that fight been scheduled for five rounds, many believed that Shevchenko would have won it.
White Has No Appetite For a Trilogy
During the UFC 261 post-event press conference, UFC President Dana White was asked about a potential third fight between Nunes and Shevchenko. White didn’t sound too interested in booking a trilogy soon, saying both fighters have forged their own paths in their respective weight classes, and it would be tough to ask Shevhenko to move up in weight again to face Nunes where the Lioness has a clear advantage.
Nunes is slated to fight Juliana Pena at UFC 265 on August 7th. The best UFC betting sites have the Lioness as a massive -700 betting favorite to keep her bantamweight belt. If Nunes goes on to beat Pena as expected, then she will have virtually cleaned up the women’s bantamweight division. Unless she will go for another fight with Holly Holm or Germaine De Randamie, both of whom she easily defeated in the past, there is no challenge left for Nunes in any of her weight classes.
Unless the Lioness chooses to retire and spend more time with her newborn child, she will have to look for an opponent that can push her to be at her best.
With the last fighter to defeat her in Cat Zingano fighting on rival promotion Bellator, the only real challenge left for Nunes is Shevchenko if the latter wants to move up and fight her again. There is no question that Amanda Nunes is the greatest fighter in women’s MMA. But unless she beats Valentina Shevchenko decisively, she will always have that asterisk in her legacy.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...
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