The Ultimate Fighting Championship now has four female reigning champions. The most recent mixed martial artist to join the elite group was Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (Валентина Шевченко), 30, of Lima, Peru.
On December 8, 2018, the UFC held “UFC 231” at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The fight card featured 13 MMA bouts with two titles at stake.
In the co-main event of the evening, Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, 31, of Olsztyn, Poland competed for the then vacant UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship title. Todd Anderson served as the referee.
After five five-minute rounds, the flyweight championship bout between Shevchenko and Jedrzejczyk was left in the hands of the judges. All the judges scored the bout 49-46 in favor of the contender from Lima.
Shevchenko was born in Frunze, Kirghizia, which is now known as Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on March 7, 1988 to Ukrainian parents. She graduated from the United of Arts Kyrgyzstan with a bachelor’s degree in Film Directing.
As an MMA fighter, Shevchenko has been competing professionally since 2003. From 2007-2009, she took a break from competing and in 2008, she moved to Peru.
On September 30, 2010, Shevchenko went back to the cage and moved from flyweight to bantamweight. She lost to Liz Carmouche via technical knockout due to doctor stoppage at “C3 Fights: Red River Rivalry” in Concho, Oklahoma, United States.
After losing to Carmouche, Shevchenko redeemed herself with a five-bout winning streak. On December 19, 2015, the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian fighter made her successful UFC debut by defeating Sarah Kaufman via split decision at “UFC on Fox 17” in Orlando, Florida, USA.
When Shevchenko competed in the UFC octagon for the second time, she lost to Amanda Nunes via unanimous decision. The two battled it out at “UFC 196” in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on March 5, 2016.
On September 9, 2017, Shevchenko and Nunes had their rematch at “UFC 215” for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Brazilian contender won the title via split decision.
On February 3, 2018, Shevchenko moved back from bantamweight to flyweight. She submitted Priscila Cachoeira via rear-naked choke at “UFC Fight Night 125” in Belem, Brazil.
Beating Jedrzejczyk improved Shevchenko’s professional MMA record to 16 wins and 3 losses. On the other hand, the Polish fighter, who is the former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion, now has 15 wins and 3 losses.
Here is Shevchenko’s “UFC 231” post-fight octagon interview: