Shevchenko says ‘It won’t be good’ for Nunes to pull out of UFC title fight again

Updated August 28, 2017 - 2:42 pm

UFC women’s bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko is excited to finally get her shot at taking the belt from Amanda Nunes when they meet in a rescheduled title bout in the co-main event of UFC 215 on Sept. 9 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Shevchenko won’t even consider the chance that Nunes could pull out of the fight again as she did because of illness just hours before they were supposed to meet at UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena in July.

“I don’t know how or why that could possibly happen again,” the challenger said last week in Las Vegas. “But I’m sure if it does, it won’t be good for her.”

Shevchenko doesn’t think it will be good for Nunes to step in the cage with her, either.

“My goal is still the same: to win the fight and finish it as fast as I can,” the 29-year-old said outside of the UFC’s Las Vegas headquarters. “This whole thing is worse for her because now I feel much stronger.”

Shevchenko has won seven of her last eight fights, with the lone loss coming to Nunes before she was champion in 2016. Her eyes have been on a rematch ever since, a focus that grew even stronger when Nunes captured the belt by beating Miesha Tate later that year and then solidifying her grip on the division with a first-round knockout of Ronda Rousey in December.

The Soviet-born Peruvian fighter had gone through a full training camp and was on weight and ready to go when she learned on the eve of her title shot she wouldn’t be able to compete.

Shevchenko was disappointed with the news, only to draw on her two decades of training to channel her feelings in a more constructive direction.

“My life in the martial arts has taught me to control all my emotions,” she said. “That’s why when the fight was canceled, I was able to block everything else out and focus on the new date. I know I can’t think too much about what happened. It’s not good for your preparation. It will just get worse for you. You just have to keep going and try to make the best of it.

“It’s already to a point where I don’t remember. There’s been enough time. I’m already focused on the new fight. That’s why for me, it’s in the past.”

The card will be headlined by a flyweight title bout between Ray Borg and champion Demetrious Johnson.

VanZant-Eye official

A rumored UFC women’s flyweight bout between Paige VanZant and Jessica Eye has been made official, sources close to the organization confirmed to the Review-Journal on Monday.

The fight has been added to the UFC 216 card on Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena.

Both fighters will move into the new 125-pound division for the fight.

VanZant will move up from 115 pounds after a loss to contender Michelle Waterson in December.

Eye, who has lost four straight fights at bantamweight, will move down for an opportunity to compete in her natural weight class now that the organization has added a fourth division for females. She was scheduled to fight Aspen Ladd at T-Mobile Arena in July, but Ladd got sick on the day of the fight and was forced to withdraw.

The inaugural women’s flyweight champion is being crowned through the currently filming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

UFC 216 includes an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Las Vegan Kevin Lee.

UFC back in action

One of the longest down periods without a fight card in the modern era of the UFC will end Saturday with UFC Fight Night 115 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Stefan Struve will fight Alexander Volkov in the headliner of a card slated to stream on UFC Fight Pass at noon, with preliminary card action set for 8:30 a.m. on the service.

Former women’s featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie was slated for a bout against Marion Reneau, but de Randamie was forced to pull out of the event on Friday because of an injury. Reneau will instead face promotional newcomer Talita de Oliveira.

The organization’s last event was UFC Fight Night 114 on Aug. 5. The last time there was no UFC event for four weeks was in 2012.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
UFC donates $240,000 to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
UFC presents Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada with $240,000 donation and promises to grant more wishes as the partnership goes forward.
Benavidez on his new contract, future of the UFC flyweight division
UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who is booked to fight Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN Plus, discusses his role as an alternate for the title fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, his new 4-fight contract and the future of the 125-pound division.
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing