UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has fought both Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes and gave her pick for the bantamweight title rematch.
“Bullet” went the distance with Nunes twice when she completed in the women’s 135-pound division before the creation of the 125-pound weight class. In their last fight, Shevchenko narrowly lost via split decision. In her fight with Peña, Shevchenko submitted the current bantamweight champion late in the second round.
Peña ended Nunes’ reign atop the division at UFC 269 in December, defeating “The Lioness” by submission. The two are scheduled to rematch at UFC 277 on July 30.
“I was not in like shock. Of course it was surprising,” Shevchekno said about Peña’s submission win over Nunes during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
“I didn’t see Amanda kind of like in the same fight shape that she used to be in the fight. For example, when we fought together she was completely like different eyes, different like, I don’t know, everything. In Julianna’s fight, was a little bit more relaxed. I don’t know how she prepared for this fight, but she looked differently.”
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When Peña and Nunes meet for the second time at American Airlines Center in Dallas at the end of July, Shevchenko expects a different outcome.
“It depends on what mental shape they’re going to be,” Shevchenko said when asked how she sees the rematch going. “It all depends, but I would say if they’re both going to be very ready for the fight, want to fight, want to win the fight, I would say Amanda will take the rematch.”
Shevchenko puts her flyweight title on the line against Taila Santos in the co-main event of UFC 275 on June 11 in Kallang, Singapore.