VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Amanda Nunes doubts she will see Valentina Shevchenko again inside the cage.
The two-division UFC women’s champion isn’t relishing her chances of fighting Shevchenko a third time — especially since Shevchenko lost her UFC women’s flyweight title a few months ago to Alexa Grasso.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” Nunes said during the UFC 289 pre-fight press conference on Wednesday. “I think I have a lot of noise at 135, and I don’t think the UFC is going to stop and then come back with the Valentina thing. It doesn’t sell anything.
A potential then champion vs champion super fight between Nunes and Shevchenko was once one of the most talked about fantasy fights in MMA.
Nunes has beaten Shevchenko twice – once in 2016 and again in 2017 – but many still believe to this day that Shevchenko did enough to win the second fight, sparking interest in a third encounter.
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Shevchenko, who holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC women’s history, recently saw her dominating reign come to an end after Mexico’s Grasso submitted her to the co-main event of the UFC 285 in March.
Unlike many, Nunes wasn’t surprised to see Shevchenko fall.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Nunes said. “I fought Valentina when she was in her prime, and we were both growing. Last fight, we were both growing as fighters. Valentina has a lot of holes that I can see. I don’t Wasn’t able to do it at the time, but I see how Alexa Grasso could finish him off.
Nunes (22-5 MMA, 15-2 UFC) returns to the cage Saturday hoping to defend her women’s bantamweight title against Irene Aldana (14-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), one of the teammates of Grasso. The two headliners at UFC 289, which takes place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The main card airs pay-per-view after the prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
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For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Hub for UFC 289.
The story originally appeared on MMA Junkie