With her first Flyweight Title defense fast approaching, Valentina Shevchenko refuses to be overwhelmed by the pressures of champion status.
Far from it in fact, with Shevchenko detailing her mind-set on a recent edition of the MMA Hour. “I don’t want to put any [expectations] for me, any goals for me, because I’m not like this,” Shevchenko said. “It’s so, like, ‘Everyone, okay, I have to put a goal for me and I have to reach it.’ I do my best. I try to be the best in everything that I’m doing. But of course the No. 1 [goal for me] is to win the fight, and it doesn’t matter how many times I do it.
“I’m going to do it every time. Every single time when I go into the cage, I’m going to win the fight, because this is my mindset,” she explained. “Of course I want to do the maximum [that] I can, but I don’t like to put the goals [out there], to put the numbers [on it] or something like this, because if you set up this, it’s already in your head. And if you can’t reach it, your mind starts to break, and you have all kinds of troubles and problems. Not physically, but mentally.
“And this is usually the most [common reason] why people, they are broken. Not because of the body, because of, like, physical issues. No, it’s because of mental issues. And I don’t want to put [myself] in this situation. I just want to be No. 1 in everything that I’m doing, and of course I want to defend my belt as much as I can.”
Shevchenko’s approach makes sense, especially considering her respect for the division she currently stands atop. “A lot of fighters, they move from 135, and a lot of girls move up from 115. It’s going to be the hardest weight division among all girls in the UFC, and it will be a more exciting weight class.”
‘The Bullet’s prediction could well be proven correct before long but for now, her reign begins on June 8th, taking on Jessica Eye at UFC 238.