UFC women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes holds two wins over flyweight titleholder Valentina Shevchenko. Typically when a fighter has two wins over an opponent there’s no need for a third fight, but their situation is anything but typical.
Nunes and Shevchenko are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings. Nunes regained the top spot in the most recent rankings cycle following her UFC 277 win over Julianna Peña.
Nunes and Shevchenko first fought at UFC 196 in March 2016 resulting in a unanimous decision win for Nunes. In their rematch at UFC 215 in September 2017, Nunes squeaked out a split decision to retain her belt, but many people believed Shevchenko did enough to win.
Shevchenko has held the UFC women’s 125-pound title since December 2018. She’s defended the championship seven times. She’s always wanted a third bout against Nunes and she may get her wish.
UFC president Dana White recently said that a trilogy match “makes sense.” Nunes seemed open to the possibility during the UFC 277 Post-fight Press Conference. If the fight happens, former two-division champion Henry Cejudo thinks Shevchenko will defeat Nunes.
“For the third fight, I’m actually gonna go Valentina Shevchenko just for the simple fact that Valentina has gotten a lot better and she’s the younger fighter, I believe (Shevchenko is three months older than Nunes), and she’s a smaller fighter,” Cejudo said on his YouTube segment The Triple C & Schmo Show.
“Going up is actually better than coming down. Because if you’re struggling to make 135 pounds, going up she’s going to feel really good. Those are my two cents on Valentina vs. Amanda Nunes 3.”
Cejudo didn’t stop with giving just two cents. He decided to add a little more coin.
“Knowing Valentina, she’s all about fighting, she’s on a quest to do some amazing things,” Cejudo said. “I don’t think she’s married or in a relationship, she’s literally married to the game and that also makes somebody extremely dangerous,” Cejudo said. “Amanda now has a kid, a wife, and I’m not saying that stuff holds you down but time is given.”
If the trilogy is going to happen, Cejudo would like it to take place sooner rather than later. It’s a trilogy bout, a champion vs. champion match, and a fight to determine who is the best women’s pound-for-pound fighter. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.
“I think this is the time to make it because they’re both kind of getting up there in age, too. So, if they’re going to make it, I say they make it within the next six months and let the people know who is the pound-for-pound queen,” Cejudo said.