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Valentina Anatolievna Shevchenko (Russian: Валентина Анатольевна Шевченко; born (1988-03-07)March 7, 1988) is a Kyrgyzstani professional mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai fighter. Shevchenko competes in the women's flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she is the current Women's Flyweight champion. She became champion at UFC 231 beating Joanna Jędrzejczyk, who Shevchenko also previously beat three times in amateur Muay Thai bouts. She is widely considered as one of the best female fighters in the world. As of September 16, 2019, she is ranked #11 in UFC pound-for-pound rankings.[9]

Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko.jpg
BornValentina Anatolievna Shevchenko
(1988-03-07) March 7, 1988 (age 31)
Frunze, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)[1]
Native nameВалентина Шевченко
Other namesBullet[2]
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada
NationalityKyrgyzstan (known as the Socialist Republic of Kirghizia until 1991)[3]
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)
DivisionBantamweight (MMA)
Flyweight (MMA)
Lightweight (Muaythai)
Reach66 12 in (169 cm)[4]
StyleMuay Thai, Taekwondo, Boxing, Kickboxing, Judo
StanceSouthpaw
Fighting out ofBishkek, Kyrgyzstan
TeamTiger Muay Thai[5]
TrainerPavel Fedotov
Rank2nd dan black belt and Master of Sports in Taekwondo[6]
International Master of Sports in Muay Thai[6]
Master of Sports in Boxing[6]
Master of Sports in Kickboxing[6]
Black belt[7] and Master of Sports in Judo[6]
Years active2000–present[8]
Professional boxing record
Total2
Wins2
Losses0
Kickboxing record
Total59
Wins56
By knockout4
Losses3
Mixed martial arts record
Total21
Wins18
By knockout5
By submission7
By decision6
Losses3
By knockout1
By decision2
Other information
UniversityUniversity of Arts Kyrgyzstan[6]
Notable relativesAntonina Shevchenko (sister)
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Early lifeEdit

Shevchenko was born in Frunze, Kirghizia, USSR on March 7, 1988, into a Ukrainian family with Soviet, and later Kyrgyzstani, citizenship.[10] After becoming interested in combat sports at an early age, she began taekwondo at age 5, under the influence of her older sister Antonina and her mother, who had practiced the sport.[11] At age 12 she branched out into Muay Thai kickboxing and then free style Vale Tudo. Her kickboxing career began in 2000 when, also at age 12, she knocked out a 22-year-old opponent, earning her the moniker "Bullet" from her trainer Pavel Fedotov because of her speed in the ring.[8][12][13]

Shevchenko earned an undergraduate degree in Film Directing from the University of Arts Kyrgyzstan.[14]

Muay Thai and kickboxingEdit

 
Valentina Shevchenko in China, 2014

From 2003 to 2015, Shevchenko collectively won more than 50 amateur/pro matches in K-1, Muay Thai and kickboxing (five were won by technical knockout, three were won by knockout). She received her first loss in kickboxing when she fought Debby Urkens (WFCA) in 2008 and her second one against Wang Cong (aka Cong Wang) in 2015.[15] Shevchenko won 8 gold medals (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014) when she competed in the IFMA world championships, as well as the IMFA Royal World Cup in 2015. She defeated future UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk three times and future UFC fighter Lina Länsberg once, during these competitions. Shevchenko is considered to be one of the best female Muay Thai fighters in the world.[16][17]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Shevchenko has competed in mixed martial arts since 2003, compiling a record of 18-3.

Legacy Fighting ChampionshipEdit

In 2014, it was announced that Legacy FC had signed Shevchenko for MMA and kickboxing.[18] She faced Jan Finney on February 27, 2015, at Legacy Fighting Championship 39, winning the fight via unanimous decision.[19]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Shevchenko made her UFC debut as a short-notice replacement for Germaine de Randamie against Sarah Kaufman at UFC on Fox 17.[20] She won the fight via split decision (28–29, 29–28, and 29–28).[21]

In her second fight for the promotion, Shevchenko faced Amanda Nunes at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. Although she made an impressive and strong performance in the third round, her slow start in the first two gave the rounds to Nunes. She lost the fight by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–27, and 29–27).[22]

In her third UFC fight, Shevchenko faced former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm at UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko on July 23, 2016. After losing the first round, she rallied back to take over the fight and won a dominant unanimous decision (49–46, 49–46, and 49–46).[23]

Shevchenko faced Julianna Peña in a possible title eliminator match in the main event at UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña on January 28, 2017.[24] She won the fight by armbar submission in the second round. The win also earned Shevchenko her first Performance of the Night bonus.[25]

UFC Bantamweight title fightEdit

Shevchenko was expected to rematch the current women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes on July 8, 2017, at UFC 213, but on the day of the fight Nunes fell ill and pulled out of the fight. The doctors cleared Nunes to fight, but she didn't feel up to it, so the fight was called off.[26] Joanna Jędrzejczyk offered to replace Nunes, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission could not clear her on such short notice.[27]

The rematch against Nunes was rescheduled to UFC 215 on September 9, 2017, in Edmonton, Alberta. After a very close back-and-forth fight, Shevchenko lost the fight via split decision. In the post-fight press conference, she voiced her disagreement with the judges' decision but also said she respected the outcome.[28] Out of 22 media outlets, 6 scored it for Nunes, 14 for Shevchenko, and 2 scored it a draw.[29]

Flyweight divisionEdit

In September 2017, Shevchenko revealed plans to join the 125-pound flyweight division.[30]

Shevchenko faced promotional newcomer Priscila Cachoeira on February 3, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 125. She won the fight via rear-naked choke in dominant fashion in round two, outstriking her opponent 230-3. This win earned her the Performance of the Night bonus.[31]

Shevchenko was scheduled to face champion Nicco Montaño on September 8, 2018, at UFC 228. However, prior to the weigh-ins for the event, Montano was transported to a hospital due to the effects of weight cutting. The bout was cancelled and Montano was stripped of the Women's Flyweight title.[32] UFC officials then announced that Shevchenko would fight for the vacant 125-pound flyweight title later in 2018.[33]

UFC Women`s Flyweight ChampionshipEdit

On September 20, 2018, it was announced that Shevchenko to face Joanna Jędrzejczyk, who was returning to Flyweight, on December 8, 2018, at UFC 231 for the vacant UFC Women's Flyweight Championship.[34] Due to UFC 230 being in need of a main event, Shevchenko was booked against Sijara Eubanks.[35] Eubanks was expected to face Jessica Eye at UFC 232, before being moved to face Shevchenko.[36] After the UFC announced a Heavyweight Championship bout between Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis to serve as the main event of UFC 230, UFC confirmed the bout between Shevchenko and Eubanks was canceled and that Shevchenko would return to her original bout at UFC 231 against Jędrzejczyk.[37] Shevchenko defeated Jędrzejczyk by unanimous decision to become the new UFC Women`s Flyweight Champion.[38]

In the first defense of her UFC flyweight title, Shevchenko faced Jessica Eye in the co-main event at UFC 238 on June 8, 2019,[39] She successfully defended her title, winning via a head kick knockout in the second round.[40] This win earned her the Performance of the Night award.[41]

In the second defense of her title, Shevchenko faced Liz Carmouche on August 10, 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 14 for the UFC Women's Flyweight Championship.[42] The pairing met previously under a regional promotion banner in 2010 with Carmouche winning the bout in the second round after the doctor stopped the bout due to a large cut stemming from an upkick.[43] Shevchenko won the rematch via unanimous decision.[44]

Fighting styleEdit

A decorated kickboxer, Shevchenko is primarily known for precise counter-striking.[45] She is recognized for an exceptional ability to gauge the distance of an opponent's attack, then retaliate with a variety of counterattacks.[45][46] In a 2017 interview, Shevchenko noted the challenges of perfecting this technique in mixed martial arts. "It's different to fight a wrestler and stand-up fighter. To feel the distance of her punch, it's different", she said.[47]

After dodging an opponent's strike, Shevchenko will often counter with a fast right hook, a spinning wheel kick, or a spinning back fist. On offense, she makes regular use of forward right hooks and two-punch combinations. She also utilizes an outside leg kick, regularly thrown at the end of a flurry, or in the early stages of a round.[45][46][48]

In addition to her striking, Shevchenko is trained in grappling and a black belt in Judo, as demonstrated by her multiple take-downs against Holly Holm, her armbar submission of Julianna Peña and her rear naked choke submission over Priscila Cachoeira.[25][49]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

KickboxingEdit

Muay ThaiEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
21 matches 18 wins 3 losses
By knockout 5 1
By submission 7 0
By decision 6 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 18–3 Liz Carmouche Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2 August 10, 2019 5 5:00 Montevideo, Uruguay Defended the UFC Women's Flyweight Championship.
Win 17–3 Jessica Eye KO (head kick) UFC 238 June 8, 2019 2 0:26 Chicago, Illinois, United States Defended the UFC Women's Flyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 16–3 Joanna Jędrzejczyk Decision (unanimous) UFC 231 December 8, 2018 5 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Won the vacant UFC Women's Flyweight Championship.
Win 15–3 Priscila Cachoeira Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders February 3, 2018 2 4:25 Belém, Brazil Return to Flyweight. Performance of the Night.
Loss 14–3 Amanda Nunes Decision (split) UFC 215 September 9, 2017 5 5:00 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada For the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Win 14–2 Julianna Peña Submission (armbar) UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña January 28, 2017 2 4:29 Denver, Colorado, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 13–2 Holly Holm Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko July 23, 2016 5 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Loss 12–2 Amanda Nunes Decision (unanimous) UFC 196 March 5, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–1 Sarah Kaufman Decision (split) UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 December 19, 2015 3 5:00 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 11–1 Jan Finney Decision (unanimous) Legacy FC 39 February 27, 2015 3 5:00 Houston, Texas United States
Win 10–1 Hellen Bastos TKO (doctor stoppage) Fusion FC 6 February 26, 2014 2 3:00 Lima, Peru
Win 9–1 Priscila Orellana TKO (punches) Fusion FC 5 December 18, 2013 1 0:50 Lima, Peru
Win 8–1 Akjarkyn Baiturbaeva Decision (unanimous) KF-1: MMA World Competition April 30, 2011 3 5:00 Seoul, South Korea
Loss 7–1 Liz Carmouche TKO (doctor stoppage) C3 Fights: Red River Rivalry September 30, 2010 2 3:00 Concho, Oklahoma, United States Return to Bantamweight.
Win 7–0 Yulia Nemtsova Submission (Ezekiel choke) Professional Free Fight March 3, 2006 1 1:11 Krasnodar, Russia Flyweight debut.
Win 6–0 Kyung Aeh Kim Submission (armbar) WXF: X-Impact World Championships 2005 July 9, 2005 1 1:09 Seoul, South Korea
Win 5–0 Roza Kalieva Submission (rear-naked choke) Kazakhstan Federation of Pankration 2 March 22, 2005 1 1:09 Kokshetau, Kazakhstan
Win 4–0 Alla Iskarenova Submission (rear-naked choke) Kazakhstan Federation of Pankration March 21, 2005 1 1:12 Kokshetau, Kazakhstan
Win 3–0 Erkesh Kokoeva TKO (punches) Kyrgyz Federation of Kulatuu 2 October 15, 2004 1 N/A Kyrgyzstan
Win 2–0 Mi Choi Kim Submission (rear-naked choke) WXF: X-Impact World Championships 2003 December 9, 2003 1 1:55 Seoul, South Korea
Win 1–0 Eliza Aidaralieva TKO (punches) Kyrgyz Federation of Kulatuu April 21, 2003 2 N/A Kyrgyzstan

[52]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Result Record Opponent Type Round Time Date Location Notes
Win 2–0   Nerys Rincon TKO 4 N/A December 17, 2011   Coliseo ReserClub de Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru  
Win 1–0   Halanna Dos Santos UD 10 2:00 May 8, 2010   Coliseo Marotta, Callao, Peru  

Professional Kickboxing and Muay Thai record (Incomplete)Edit

K-1, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai record (Incomplete)
Amateur Kickboxing and Muay Thai record (Incomplete)
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
2015-08-23 Win   Mariya Valent I.F.M.A. Royal World cup Tournament 2015, Finals -60 kg Bangkok, Thailand N/A N/A N/A
Wins the I.F.M.A. Royal World cup Tournament Gold Medal -60 kg.
2015-08-20 Win   Anke Van Gestel I.F.M.A. Royal World cup Tournament 2015, Semi Finals -60 kg Bangkok, Thailand TKO (Strikes) 1 N/A
2015-08-16 Win   Nili Block I.F.M.A. Royal World cup Tournament 2015, Quarter Finals -60 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2015-08-14 Win   Kaoutar Houkman I.F.M.A. Royal World cup Tournament 2015, Eighth Finals -60 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2014-05-? Win   Mariya Valent I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2014, Finals -60 kg Langkawi, Malaysia N/A N/A N/A
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -60 kg.
2014-05-06 Win   Janice MacAulay I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2014, Semi Finals -60 kg Langkawi, Malaysia Decision 3 3:00
2014-05-05 Win   Gia Winberg I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2014, Quarter Finals -60 kg Langkawi, Malaysia Decision 3 3:00
2014-05-? Win   Siobhan Foley I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2014, Eighth Finals -60 kg Langkawi, Malaysia N/A N/A N/A
2013-10-23 Win   Anastasia Sharmonova 2013 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai, Final St. Petersburg, Russia N/A N/A N/A
Wins the 2013 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai Gold Medal.
2013-10-21 Win   Pimnipa Tanawatpipat 2013 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai, Semi Final St. Petersburg, Russia Decision N/A N/A
2013-10-19 Win   Zuunast Altansukh 2013 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai, Quarter Final St. Petersburg, Russia TKO (Body kick) 3 N/A
2012-09-12 Win   Katsiaryna Viaryha I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2012, Finals -60 kg St. Petersburg, Russia N/A N/A N/A
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -60 kg.
2012-09-11 Win   Magdalena Edyta I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2012, Semi Finals -60 kg St. Petersburg, Russia N/A N/A N/A
2011-09-? Loss   Aicha El Majydy I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2011, Finals -60 kg Tashkent, Uzbekistan N/A N/A N/A
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Silver Medal -60 kg.
2011-09-? Win   Alfia Ishirgakova I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2011, Semi Finals -60 kg Tashkent, Uzbekistan TKO (Strikes) N/A N/A
2010-12-? Win   Lina Länsberg I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2010, Finals -63.5 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -63.5 kg.
2010-12-? Win   Marja Belush I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2010, Semi Finals -63.5 kg Bangkok, Thailand TKO (Body kick) N/A N/A
2010-12-? Win   Anna Willberg I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2010, Quarter Finals -63.5 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2010-11-? Win   Valentina Gupalo I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2010, Eight Finals -63.5 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2010-09-02 Win   Caley Reece 2010 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai, Final Beijing, China Decision (Unanimous) 4 2:00
Wins the 2010 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai Gold Medal.
2010-08-31 Win   Ania Fucz 2010 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai, Semi Finals Beijing, China N/A N/A N/A[53]
2010-08-29 Win   Madeleine Ross 2010 World Combat Games -60 kg/132 lb Muay Thai, Quarter Finals Beijing, China N/A N/A N/A[54]
2009-12-? Win   Alena Muratova I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2009, Finals -60 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -60 kg.
2009-12-? Win   Emma Thyni I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2009, Semi Finals -60 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2008-?-? Win   Joanna Jędrzejczyk I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2008, Finals -57 kg Busan, South Korea Decision 3 3:00
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -57 kg.
2008-?-? Win   Gozde Bayergi I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2008, Semi Finals -57 kg Busan, South Korea Decision 3 3:00
2008-?-? Win   Alla Ivashkevich I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2008, Quarter Finals -57 kg Busan, South Korea Decision 3 3:00
2008-?-? Win   Mikaela Mélante I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2008, First Round -57 kg Busan, South Korea Decision 3 3:00
2007-12-? Win   Vipavat Lasuwan I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2007, Finals -57 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -57 kg.
2007-12-? Win   Liisi Airo I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2007, Semi Finals -57 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2007-11-? Win   Joanna Jędrzejczyk I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2007, Quarter Finals -57 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2006-06-? Win   Misty Sutherland I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2006, Finals -57 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
Wins the I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament Gold Medal -57 kg.
2006-06-? Win   Heather O’Donnell I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2006, Semi Finals -57 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2006-05-? Win   Joanna Jędrzejczyk I.F.M.A. World Championship Tournament 2006, Quarter Finals -57 kg Bangkok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit