Prior to the massive upset that turned out to be Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Joanna was looking for a fight with Valentina Shevchenko at 135 lbs. Yep…that’s two weight classes above her own! The two have already fought before in Muay Thai but an opportunity arose back at UFC 213 when Amanda Nunes pulled out of the planned rematch against Shevchenko. This prompted a brief attempt from Joanna to make everything work in her favor so that she could save the card with Shevchenko. This obviously didn’t happen, but both were down for the fight and many had been hoping for an eventual super fight between the two at the weight between both of theirs in the Flyweight division.
Of course, that’s still possible but it looks less likely now that Shevchenko’s teammate, Namajunas has dethroned Joanna. Shevchenko knows a thing or two about Namajunas as well as Joanna who she defeated three times in Muay Thai. In a recent interview on the MMA Hour, she claims to have predicted the outcome that occurred at UFC 217.
“I KNEW FROM THE FIRST SECONDS WHEN I HEARD THAT THEY WILL FIGHT, I KNEW THAT ROSE WILL WIN. BECAUSE I’VE TRIED THE POWER OF ROSE AND I’VE TRIED THE POWER OF JOANNA AND I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT POWERS BOTH GIRLS HAVE. I KNEW AND EVERYBODY WAS ASKING ME BEFORE THEY FIGHT, ‘WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN?’ EVERY TIME, I WAS SAYING IT WILL BE ROSE. THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE ME. BUT AFTER THE FIGHT, IT’S NO DOUBT. ROSE, SHE IS NOT ONLY A STRIKER, SHE IS NOT ONLY A GRAPPLER,” SHEVCHENKO SAID. “SHE IS AN MMA FIGHTER. AND WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS SHE’S A COMPLETE FIGHTER, BECAUSE SHE CAN GRAPPLE AS GOOD AS WRESTLE, [AS GOOD] AS [HER] BOXING AND MUAY THAI, WHATEVER.
ROSE WILL DO HER THING, SHE WILL BE FOCUSED ONLY ON HER FIGHT AND JUST TO SHOW THE SKILLS,” SHEVCHENKO SAID. “THIS IS WHAT WE SAW. I’M VERY HAPPY FORROSE,BECAUSE SHE DESERVES IT. I KNOW EXACTLY SHE WILL BE VERY GOOD CHAMPION AT 115 AND I THINK FOR A LONG TIME.”
Shevchenko last fought at UFC 215 when she lost a razor close decision to Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Her next fight will be her first UFC bout in the Flyweight division when she takes on Priscilla Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 12/27/2017.