Current UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza recently said it would be “terrifying” if flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko fell and competed at 115 pounds.
Esparza sat down with MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn this week and in the interview she pitted Shevchenko against Shevchenko in the strawweight division. Despite having never competed in a weight class before, Shevchenko said in a Q&A for UFC 275 fans that “anything is possible.”
And if “Bullet” eventually decides to try her hand at the straw weight class, she will “make the hearts of a lot of heavyweights a little scared,” says Esparza.
“Well, that’s scary,” Esparza said through the store. “She is a beast, for sure. I think she will definitely scare the hearts of a lot of heavyweights. I mean, if you look at (Jessica) Andrade and Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), some of the biggest heavyweights on the team, they come forward, fight her, and they’re destroyed. It’s hard to say what weight loss will do to her because it’s a bit, you know, a bit to go. But yeah, that would be scary. “
Esparza thinks Shevchenko is the greatest female boxer ever
Shevchenko just finished his seventh 125-pound title defense. She fought Taila Santos earlier this month at UFC 275 in Singapore, and although Santos pushed Bullet in more ways than fans are used to seeing, Shevchenko overcame the scorecards through a split decision.
Esparza praised Santos’ performance, however she still considers Shevchenko the greatest female boxer ever.
“I think Taila looks really great,” Esparza said. “I think she surprised a lot of people with how well she did especially in the first three rounds. I saw an accidental headbutt and she lost her sight. If that hadn’t happened, I could have witnessed the fight – I mean it was a fight so close, I could see it going the other way, but at the end of the day, Valentina raised her hand. “
“For me, Valentina, I see her as the GOAL of female MMA,” continued Esparza.
Shevchenko Calls for Drop to Straw Class ‘One Serious Weight Loss’, Also Eyeing Bantamweight Class
During a fan Q&A earlier this month, Shevchenko talked about losing weight to a straw level.
“Yes, it will [an] interesting proposition,” Shevchenko said on Sportskeeda.com. “Upgrading to the straw balance means you’ve lost a lot of weight, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you are a pro, you have to consider, if you drop too much to the straw weight, how can you fight at bantamweight?… Anything is possible.”
During UFC 275’s post-fight press conference, Bullet said she weighed 130 pounds for the fight against Santos. And with a potential fight at bantamweight, she’ll work to increase size if she chooses that route.
“Another option is Julianna [Pena] and Amanda [Nunes] at bantamweight, and once it’s getting to the finals, I’m going to start working out a little bit heavier — just a little bit so I don’t lose speed,” Shevchenko said via MMA Junkie. “There are so many options for me, just to choose which one.”
Pena, the current bantamweight champion, and Nunes will rematch at UFC 277 on July 30.
https://heavy.com/sports/ufc/carla-esparza-scary-valentina-shevchenko-joined-strawweight/ Carla Esparza on Valentina Shevchenko Fighting at 115 Pounds