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Valentina – What’s Next?

On May 4th during UFC 285, Valentina Shevshenko (23 – 4 – 0) lost to Alexa Grasso (16 – 3 – 0).

After 7 successful title defense matches this was her first loss since 2017, which was to Amanda Nunes fighting bantamweight. This recent defeat resulted in losing her flyweight champion title. 

Image – Yahoo Sports

So what’s next for Valentina? Looks like training and more training. She tweeted “Fight doesn’t forget any mistake! “Especially it feels frustrating when you was dominating all the fight.” Then, “No excuses, only hard work! Ready to start all over [emoji]…”

Since UFC 285 she has asked for a rematch with Grasso to take back her title and talked about a bantamweight trilogy fight with Amanda Nunes. Alexa Grasso has welcomed the rematch with rumors of September. Fans have welcomed the trilogy fight, but there are no dates for either.

Image – Bleacher Report

Until then no doubt Valentina will be training and preparing herself for an eventual fight, she certainly doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. She is so disciplined, fights so sharp, and is now 35 with 59 Muay Thai fights (only 2 of them losses) and 27 UFC fights, (only 4 of them losses), behind her. That is an undeniably brilliant fighter, but fighting is still hard on the body.

Now, it isn’t as uncommon to see fighters keep on until 40. Marion Reneau at 43 is the oldest, now retired female UFC fighter, which seems to be about the same either male or female. The way Valentina is going, we may get another decade of fights, if that is what she wants.

Both prospective fights are rematches, one in a division Valentina doesn’t usually fight in too.  This is interesting as a fight spectacle but as pure sport it’s not really her division. No one thinks that’s where she will stay after that one fight. This is almost a waste of the typically one fight a year we get from her.

What the female division needs over all, is more variety of opponents and that means more female fighters. There are 465 males and only 113 females on the UFC roster. Almost half  of the females (41) are in the strawweight division. That doesn’t leave a lot of options for Valentina or any of the female fighters moving forward.

Image – South China Morning Post

Regardless of who she fights next, and after that, it will be entertaining and high level martial arts. (She touches on why that is a little bit during an interview with Joe Rogan.) Hopefully the pool of high level opponents grows not just for Valentina and the flyweight division but for all the female fighters and divisions.

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