Valentina Shevchenko (fighter)
Valentina Anatolievna Shevchenko (Russian: Валентина Анатольевна Шевченко; born 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.
|Born||Valentina Anatolievna Shevchenko|
March 7, 1988
Frunze, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
|Native name||Валентина Шевченко|
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Nationality||Kyrgyzstan (known as the Socialist Republic of Kirghizia until 1991)|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Weight||125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)|
|Reach||66 1⁄2 in (169 cm)|
|Style||Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Boxing, Kickboxing, Judo|
|Fighting out of||Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan|
|Team||Tiger Muay Thai|
|Rank||2nd dan black belt and Master of Sports in Taekwondo |
International Master of Sports in Muay Thai
Master of Sports in Boxing
Master of Sports in Kickboxing
Black belt and Master of Sports in Judo
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||University of Arts Kyrgyzstan|
|Notable relatives||Antonina Shevchenko (sister)|
|Boxing record from BoxRec|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
- 1 Early life
- 2 Muay Thai and kickboxing
- 3 Mixed martial arts career
- 4 Fighting style
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 Mixed martial arts record
- 7 Professional boxing record
- 8 Professional Kickboxing and Muay Thai record (Incomplete)
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Shevchenko was born in Frunze, Kirghizia, USSR on March 7, 1988, into a Ukrainian family with Soviet, and later Kyrgyzstani, citizenship. 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. 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.
Shevchenko earned an undergraduate degree in Film Directing from the University of Arts Kyrgyzstan.
Muay Thai and kickboxingEdit
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. 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.
Mixed martial arts 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. She faced Jan Finney on February 27, 2015, at Legacy Fighting Championship 39, winning the fight via unanimous decision.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
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).
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).
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. She won the fight by armbar submission in the second round. The win also earned Shevchenko her first Performance of the Night bonus.
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. Joanna Jędrzejczyk offered to replace Nunes, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission could not clear her on such short notice.
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. Out of 22 media outlets, 6 scored it for Nunes, 14 for Shevchenko, and 2 scored it a draw.
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.
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. UFC officials then announced that Shevchenko would fight for the vacant 125-pound flyweight title later in 2018.
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. Due to UFC 230 being in need of a main event, Shevchenko was booked against Sijara Eubanks. Eubanks was expected to face Jessica Eye at UFC 232, before being moved to face Shevchenko. 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. Shevchenko defeated Jędrzejczyk by unanimous decision to become the new UFC Women`s Flyweight Champion.
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, She successfully defended her title, winning via a head kick knockout in the second round. This win earned her the Performance of the Night award.
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. 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. Shevchenko won the rematch via unanimous decision.
A decorated kickboxer, Shevchenko is primarily known for precise counter-striking. She is recognized for an exceptional ability to gauge the distance of an opponent's attack, then retaliate with a variety of counterattacks. 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.
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.
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.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Mixed martial artsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Kunlun Fight Women's Lightweight Championship (1 Title Defense)
- 2014 Kunlun Fight Female -60kg Tournament Champion
- 2013 World K-1 Champion WKC, Peru (60 kg)
- 2013 World K-1 Champion WKC, Mexico (60 kg)
- 2005 World Champion KF-1 MMA Pro, Korea, Seoul (57 kg)
- 2004 World Kickboxing Champion WAKO, Italy (56кg)
- 2003 World Champion KF-1 MMA Pro, Korea, Seoul (55 kg)
- 2015 I.F.M.A. Royal World cup Tournament Championship (60 kg)
- 2014 I.F.M.A. World Championship (60 kg)
- 2013 World Combat Games, Muay Thai Gold Medalist (60 kg)
- 2012 WMC Muaythai Female Super Lightweight World Champion
- 2012 I.F.M.A. World Championship (60 kg)
- 2011 I.F.M.A. World Championship (60 kg)
- 2010 World Combat Games, Muay Thai Gold Medalist (60 kg)
- 2010 I.F.M.A. World Championship (63.5 kg)
- 2009 I.F.M.A. World Championship (60 kg)
- 2008 I.F.M.A. World Championship (57 kg)
- 2007 I.F.M.A. World Championship (57 kg)
- 2006 I.F.M.A. World Championship (57 kg)
- 2006 World Muay Thai WMF Champion, Thailand (57 kg)
- 2003 I.F.M.A. World Championship (57 kg
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|21 matches||18 wins||3 losses|
|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|
Professional boxing recordEdit
|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)|
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
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