Fresh from defending her women’s flyweight title at UFC 275, Valentina Shevchenko has revealed that she skipped her customary victory dance due to a foot injury.
Shevchenko did just enough to earn a split decision victory against Taila Santos tonight. The champ had her work cut out for her, however, with Santos outgrappling Shevchenko in the opening rounds. But when a clash of heads resulted in Santos’ eye swelling up, Shevchenko took advantage and quickly dominated with some smart striking and a takedown of her own.
It was the seventh time Shevchenko had defended her flyweight title since first winning it back in 2018. And it was the first time the 34-year-old has been seriously challenged in the flyweight division. Shevchenko’s only career defeats have all come at 135 pounds, having lost twice to Amanda Nunes and once to Liz Carmouche.
It’s fair to say that Shevchenko didn’t look her usual unbeatable self at UFC 275, and much of that could be put down to Santos. But at the post fight press conference, Valentina revealed that she went into the fight with an injury, preventing her from performing her customary victory dance.
“Yes, I was ready to do that, but coming into the fight, I was injured,” said Shevchenko. “My foot was injured. In all week (during fight week), UFC Performance Institute, physical therapists, they was working on my foot to get it back into the best shape. And few kicks that I had (were) super strong.
“And it’s injured, my foot. That’s why I was willing to dance, but I don’t know. We still have to do X-ray. I hope it’s nothing serious that could delay my return to the Octagon. But this is the reason why I didn’t dance.”
Despite the injury, Shevchenko expressed hopes of being able to fight at least one more time this year, potentially against the winner of the upcoming Miesha Tate vs. Lauren Murphy fight or moving up to 135 to challenge winner of Nunes vs. Peña 2.
What do you think of Valentina Shevchenko fighting with a foot injury?