Paul Jacob asked UFC Bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko some questions ahead of her headline fight at UFC Chicago.
Thank you for taking some time out to answer some questions for us. We really appreciate your time.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to get into professional mixed martial arts and combat sports in general?
I am originally from Russia (Bishkek, Kyrgistan) and I have been training martial arts since I was 5 years old. I had my first competition at 7 and my first professional K-1 fight at 12 years old. Since then I have had over 500 fights in combat sports.
Your fight nickname is “Bullet”, what is the origin of that?
That came from my coach. He gave to me after my first professional fight because of my speed and power.
I am always fascinated by how a fighter recovers mentally from a loss; your last fight was a decision loss to current number one contender Amanda Nunes, have you analysed the fight and what went wrong? How did you mentally recover from it?
Immediately after the fight I corrected a few details. I have made some adjustments to tactics. I am stronger now than ever.
Can you tell us what goes through your mind in the last few minutes before you fight?
All I am thinking is what I need to exactly do to win the fight.
What is your diet and nutrition regime like on the lead up to a fight and outside of competition does it change?
My diet is typically a clean diet as I have always had the philosophy to be ready incase an opportunity comes up. Only a few minor changes happen as I get closer to the fight.
You are due to fight former champion Holly Holm at UFC on Fox: Holm vs Shevchenko, considering both of your credentials, most of us are expecting a stand up war. How do you see the fight going?
I see this fight as a striking battle. I think it’s our nature to strike.
Do you feel under any additional pressure facing Holly as she is the former champion?
I have fought professionally for 18 years. Everything is normal. I believe there is more pressure on her.
Jon Jones has said that Holly is the greatest female athlete in the history of combat sports, do you agree with that or considering that your records across Kickboxing / Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA are arguably better, would you argue that point?
This just his opinion and right now his opinion doesn’t really matter much. None of it matters when we are in the ring.
Speaking of your combat sports credentials, having competed across multiple sports, which of them is your favourite to compete in and why?
I love all combat arts. I have competed in TKD, Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Juda, and Sambo. Of course Muay thai primary discipline.
I understand that your coach and yourself were in a restaurant in Peru in May when a shoot out occurred. I understand that your coach was shot. Can you talk us through what happened and how you have mentally recovered from it?
I am good. At this point I am 100 percent focused on my fight.
Who is your dream opponent and why?
I really don’t have a dream opponent. I have always fought the best in the world and want to continue to do so. Thank you so much for the interview!