Shevchenko Thinks Zhang Lost at UFC 248, Predicts Short Title Reign for Strawweight Queen

By: Tristen Critchfield
Mar 10, 2020

Valentina Shevchenko has been linked to a potential superfight with Weili Zhang for some time now, but after watching UFC 248, the reigning flyweight queen doesn’t think things will ever progress to that point.

In fact, “Bullet” foresees a short reign for the Chinese champion.

“Weili, she’s a good fighter,” Shevchenko told TMZ Sports. “I see now, competing in the top level competition, you can tell what she is in reality. She is good. Good fighter, but it’s not enough for the high, elite competition. Definitely, I wish her good luck at first, of course, but I cannot see her defending her title in the next fight.”

Zhang defended her 115-pound belt in split-decision triumph against Joanna Jedrzejczyk this past Saturday in a contest that was dubbed a surefire Hall of Fame fight by UFC president Dana White. Shevchenko, who took a much more comfortable decision over Jedrzejczyk in a flyweight title bout at UFC 231, thought her Polish muay Thai rival got the better of Zhang.

“I don’t believe [Zhang won],” Shevchenko said. “I think Joanna was more – her accuracy was more on point, and she had more clear strikes. The one thing was [the hematoma on] her head, right? But it was not kind of the result of many punches. It was just one punch in the third round when you can see her head blow up and start to swell. It’s obvious it went this way. It was not [from] getting that kind of pressure, getting that kind of power. It was just one hit.”

Still, if Zhang is able to show some longevity, Shevchenko would be more than willing to consider a champion vs. champion bout down the road. However, doesn’t believe a hypothetical showdown would be competitive.

“I don’t have any problem to fight no one,” Shevchenko said. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s going to be Chinese girl, Amanda Nunes – doesn’t matter who. I’m here to fight anyone. I would fight anyone. But as I said, I don’t see Weili passing the next title defense, and seeing the fight with Joanna, you see how difficult it was to fight with this kind of opponent with Joanna. How [much she] struggled, how troubled she [was] in this game. And you definitely see her fighting against me? I don’t think so.”

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