The UFC women’s flyweight champion, Shevchenko (19-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) defeated challenger Jennifer Maia (18-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) by unanimous decision in the UFC 255 co-main event.
At a post-fight news conference, Shevchenko revealed she hopes to stay active in the immediate future. While she wants to come back soon, the opponent doesn’t matter. She’ll fight whomever the UFC offers.
In a just world, Shevchenko said, there’s a fair contender fight to make. However, she’s afraid a No. 1 contender fight between Jessica Andrade and Lauren Murphy would isolate her from returning for her next title defense.
“I don’t choose my opponents,” Shevchenko said. “Whoever will be in front of me (is) who I’m going to face. For me, it doesn’t (make) any difference – Andrade or someone else, someone else, or whoever. I think it would be fair to have Andrade vs. Lauren Murphy because Lauren Murphy showed her strengths and has a lot of wins – like, straight wins.
“But the question (is) if I want to wait that much. I don’t want to wait that much because I was waiting a lot already and I’m not agreeing to wait more (for) their fight (to happen) and (for when) they have to recover. It’s going to be a few months from here. I’m ready to go back to the octagon as soon as I feel good and I feel good.”
Andrade (21-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) made her 125-pound debut on Oct. 18 after back-to-back losses as strawweight. In her lone UFC flyweight appearance to date, Andrade earned a first-round TKO finish over former UFC women’s flyweight title challenger Katlyn Chookagian.
After years of competition in the UFC, Murphy (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has strung together one of the longest winning streaks of her career. Her current four-fight winning streak was topped off by a second-round submission of Lilya Shakirova at UFC 254 on Oct. 24.
With her win at UFC 255, Shevchenko successfully defended her 125-pound title for the fourth consecutive time and extended her winning streak to six. Her only UFC losses came at bantamweight against current UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes in 2015 and 2017.
UFC 255 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card streamed on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN+/ESPN2/UFC Fight Pass.