After another dominant performance for Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 266, many UFC fans are left wondering: “Who’s next?”
The Women’s Flyweight GOAT has nearly cleared out the division over the course of the past four years. After this weekend’s win over Lauren Murphy, she has defeated the top four contenders in the division in her past four fights. “Bullet” is 14-2 since 2010, with her two losses coming via decision (unanimous & split) to the Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Amanda Nunes.
As Nunes has cleared out the Bantamweight division as well, it seems that the stars are aligning for a trilogy between the two greatest female UFC fighters in history. Many fans believed that Shevchenko was robbed in the second meeting between the two, back in 2017. Seeing the trilogy between Nunes and Shevchenko would be one of, if not the biggest female fight in UFC history.
Another option that could present itself is a rematch with Jessica Andrade after she also notched a win at UFC 266. Shevchenko finished Andrade via TKO (elbows) earlier this year, but after a very impressive first-round TKO over Cynthia Calvillo, she’s clearly back on track. Especially with Amanda Nunes booked to fight Julia Pena at UFC 269, fans can expect this rematch if “Bullet” wants to remain active.
A third and final option for “Bullet” would require her to wait until UFC 268, to fight the winner of Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang in a super fight at either 115 or 125 pounds. This fight has the potential to be the most interesting option since Shevchenko has never fought either of the two. If Namajunas is able to beat Zhang again, there is a real chance she could move up and challenge Shevchenko, in what would be one of the biggest fights in Women’s UFC history.
Shevchenko has cemented herself among the greats of Mixed Martial Arts. As time goes on, and Nunes and Shevchenko continue to dominate, it feels inevitable that we will see these two share the octagon a third time. Whatever direction the Women’s Flyweight Champ decides to go, we’re certainly in for a treat as we watch her continue to sharpen her skills against top-level opponents. Shevchenko stated after the fight that she’s “ready to fight tomorrow”, but it’s up to the UFC to make the decision on who she faces next. Whenever it may be, we’re certainly in for a treat any time “Bullet” takes the octagon.