It took a little time for Valentina Shevchenko to put things into perspective.
Back in July, Shevchenko was just a day away from realizing her dream to compete for the UFC women’s bantamweight title when she received the news that current champion Amanda Nunes was dropping out of their fight due to illness.
At the time, Shevchenko was understandably upset and wasn’t sure if Nunes’ excuse for pulling out of their fight was legitimate or not.
Now two months later, Shevchenko is back in the same situation as she can count down the hours until stepping into the Octagon with Nunes and she’s let go of any ill will that festered inside after what unfolded at UFC 213.
Instead, Shevchenko used the extra two months of training to add a few new weapons and sharpen her existing skills even more. In other words, Shevchenko says Nunes was just delaying the inevitable and now her loss is going to sting even more.
“I was ready for that fight but I will be ready every time I have to be ready,” Shevchenko said ahead of UFC 215. “This kind of thing, it doesn’t give me any extra motivation because I’m motivated every time. For me, my goal is to be the champion. It didn’t happen on July 8 now it will happen on September 9. It doesn’t matter how, it doesn’t matter when, I will be in the best shape that I can and I think for her, it will be worse.
Shevchenko says after the situation unfolded in July that she allowed herself a week off from training before getting back into camp to begin preparations all over again for the rescheduled fight at UFC 215.
As much as she wanted to fight two months ago, Shevchenko says she feels even better now and that will show on Saturday night.
“Of course more time for preparation, you see something new,” Shevchenko said. “My coach every time is trying to make me better and give me different weapons so for now I’m feeling very good the same as I was and much, much more.”
While the main focus for this fight is about winning the title, Shevchenko will also have the opportunity to avenge the only loss she’s suffered in the UFC after falling to Nunes more than a year ago.
In that fight, Shevchenko was down early but then came back with a dominant third round before time ran out in the fight. This time, Shevchenko has five rounds to work although she’s not just trying to drag Nunes into deep waters to see if her conditioning fails again.
“Every time, my strategy prepares me as good as I can. I will preparing for all five rounds but my goal is to look for a finish as fast as I can,” Shevchenko said.
Shevchenko has never been big on predictions and her main event bout against Nunes is really no different.
The only thing that matters is leaving Canada with the women’s bantamweight title around her waist so Shevchenko isn’t going to call her shot other than saying that she’s going to beat Nunes on Saturday night by any means necessary.
“I don’t have any prediction but I know I will do everything I have to do to win this fight,” Shevchenko said. “I don’t care what I have to do, I will win it. If I have to do in the stand up, I will win the fight. If I have to go to the ground, I will go to the ground. If I have to wrestle, I will wrestle. It doesn’t matter what.
“For me, there is only one way — the victory, nothing more.”