Shevchenko Focused On Chookagian, Not Superfights
Finding her footing in the UFC as Flyweight Champion, Valentina Shevchenko has become a major force within the division. Winning four in a row since returning to the division, Valentina (18-3) has managed to clean it out already. One fighter in her way is Katlyn Chookagian.
Set to defend her title against Chookagian at UFC 247, Valentina is only focused on her upcoming challenge. The last statement is important, as many people are expecting her to fight a variety of opponents in the upcoming year. From a third fight against Amanda Nunes to a fake fight against Henry Cejudo, her name has been everywhere. The 31-year-old is only paying attention to one name, however.
“First of all, I’m focused on my fight this Saturday,” Shevchenko told MMA Junkie. “I’m not thinking about any further fights. I put everything I have inside of me toward this Saturday for this fight. Second, superfights against who? I don’t know. Amanda Nunes? Weili (Zhang)? Henry Cejudo? Against who? I don’t think this is the right moment to think about this right now.”
Sometimes, a distraction can go a long way. Valentina wants to clear her minds of all the nonsense, even if she herself has helped create it. She is already starring in movies and making appearances for networks. In a sense, she understands the need to talk about fights outside of the current one ahead of her.
“I think (people) are just curious and want to know about everything going on,” Shevchenko went on to say. “Of course, I think they understand flyweight is a hard, competitive division. They understand that. But everyone wants to see (these). I think it’s normal people have interest in all of the things in front of me at one time.”
Chookagian (13-2) has won two in a row and five of her last six. Both are known for their creative kicks, something to look out for in this fight. With her crisp fighting style, Chookagian believes she has a true advantage. Valentina sees “Blond Fighter” as an anomaly compared to most of her challengers.
“Katlyn is already different than my other (opponents) because I don’t believe any fighter can be the singular (form) you fought already,” Shevchenko said. “Even when you fight the same fighter twice, it can be two different fights. She has her styles and I prepared for those styles. That’s it. I hope it’s going to be a good fight.”
UFC 247 takes place inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The main event will be Jon Jones defending his Light Heavyweight Title against Dominick Reyes.