Muay Thai champion Valentina Shevchenko has stepped up on short notice to take on Sarah Kaufman at the UFC on Fox card in Orlando, Florida December 19th. The promotion made the announcement Friday. Shevchenko is a last minute replacement for Germaine de Randamie.
Shevchenko (11-1) is a multiple time world champion in kickboxing, amassing a 61-1 record. Having done MMA as long as 2003, the Kyrgyzstan born fighter is riding a four fight win streak, which includes her latest win over fellow vet Jan Finney at Legacy. At that card, she met Dana White, who was interested in signing her.
The former Strikeforce champ Kaufman (17-3; 1 NC) is coming off a loss to Alexis Davis last April. She is looking to get into the title hunt with a win.
Shevchenko’s manager Roger Allen told us he was campaigning for her to get into the UFC and feels the promotion has signed “an incredible athlete and is one of the most decorated women in combat sports.”
“(Shevchenko) was very happy (to get the UFC call) and immediately said, ‘Ok it’s time for serious preparation and no time to celebrate,'” Allen told us.
Having an extensive background in the striking arts, Allen expressed that her grappling maybe just as dangerous.
“She has trained the grappling arts since a young age along with her striking. This training was not separate but part of her routine for both striking and grappling which has always been trained together. As with any elite athlete, she continues to evolve.”
She is has been splitting her fight camps between Peru and Gracie Barra in Houston, Texas for a good part of her career. For the past month she has been training at Team Bali Muay Thai in Indonesia and Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand.
She is now training at Gracie Barra Orlando to prepare for her fight locally. Moving training camps is something Shevchenko has been become comfortable with.
“Right now her focus is 100% preparation,” Allen reiterated. “Valentina has not only trained but competed around the world her whole life and she is a champion many times in various disciplines. Her focus is not something that is specific to a fight camp but more of a lifelong dedication to a martial arts lifestyle.”
The fight will air on Fox Sports 1 December 19th.
Allen wanted to thank Valentina’s world wide support network, who is really second to none which includes her fans, supporters, sponsors, her coaches, her training partners and last and most importantly her family. Without everyone working together none of this would be possible.