Amanda Nunes doesn’t feel the need to reopen the Valentina Shevchenko chapter of her career should she defeat Irene Aldana at UFC 289.
Nunes spoke to the media at the UFC 289 pre-fight presser, postulating that in addition to her disinterest, the UFC won’t pursue it any further. The two-division champion points to Shevchenko’s shocking loss to Alexa Grasso at UFC 285 being the nail in the coffin.
“I think I have a lot of noise at 135, and I don’t think the UFC is going to stop and then go back with the Valentina thing. That don’t sell nothing.”
That said, Nunes never made a third Shevchenko fight a priority. The two future Hall of Famers fought twice in 2016 and 2017, with Nunes winning both. Shevchenko may have deserved the decision in the second fight, and her continued dominance up until the Grasso loss kept hopes of a trilogy fight alive.
Nunes often sullied any calls for the fight to be made. The bantamweight champion herself is showing signs of decline, as evident in her own upset loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 269. Ironically, a trilogy fight between the two icons of women’s MMA is as relevant as ever.
Amanda Nunes throws serious shade at Julianna Pena
Nunes took time to drag Pena through the mud ahead of the Aldana fight. After her shock loss to Pena, Nunes chastised herself for losing to an opponent of that caliber and sought to reclaim her title immediately.
“I decided to not retire, because if I retire, I leave my belt with Julianna. No way. No way. It can be with somebody else, but with Julianna, no…She’s not that good… She’s crazy. She goes forward and punches, and just being tough, and she has the belt. She can get hit. No. No way.”
Though she navigated away from the Shevchenko trilogy, Nunes is surely to face Pena again with a win at UFC 289. Pena was her original opponent before suffering a rib injury in training camp.