LAS VEGAS – Ruthless. That is former champion Valentina Shevchenko’s mentality as she seeks to regain her belt.
Shevchenko fights Alexa Grasso in an immediate rematch for the UFC women’s flyweight title this Saturday in the main event of Noche UFC, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena. Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) lost her belt to Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in March at UFC 285 by fourth-round submission.
Shevchenko feels she was in control for the majority of the first fight, and having studied her errors, she no longer needs to look back at the fight.
“Watching the fight back, I would say I was winning all the fight from first to the third round, except the last moment of the fourth round,” Shevchenko said. “And another thing, right now my mindset and my focus, I don’t go back to March. I don’t go back and think about what happened there. I did it already. I did it in my training camp. I did it for all these months.
“Right now, I’m a person who’s motivated to get rid of that feeling back then in March. I’m determined on what I have to do this Saturday. That’s my mindset. I don’t watch back. Everything I had to take from the fight I took. Now it’s strong energy, positive energy, no mercy. Go to the end.”
Shevchenko feels she has no option but to have that mentality.
“The position that I’m right now, I have no choice for any sentimental things,” Shevchenko said. “I have no time for that. It’s a fight. In this fight, I have to just go without any step back, always forward.”
This is the first time Shevchenko enters a fight without a UFC belt and a label as champion since 2018. Although it is rare to see her as the challenger, nothing has changed for “Bullet.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s different because a fight is a fight,” Shevchenko said. “You have to deal with the same in the cage. In the octagon, you have to perform your best with what you have, right? Speaking about Fight Nights, I have a very good score about fighting on Fight Nights. In my main events in the Fight Nights, I’ve been very successful, so for me, it’s a good thing.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Noche UFC.