Forward of her showdown with Jennifer Maia on Saturday night, the reigning and defending flyweight champion has jumped as higher as an 18-to-1 favored in accordance to some odds makers. This isn’t particularly new territory for her as Shevchenko has been overwhelmingly favored to gain all of her fights at 125 lbs, especially because turning out to be champion.
Which is why the greater part of thoughts that she fields in the times and weeks major up to an event normally middle close to an eventual trilogy against Amanda Nunes or perhaps a tremendous combat with strawweight winner Zhang Weili simply because on paper, Shevchenko doesn’t look to have any equals at flyweight.
Contemplating Maia is just 3-2 in the UFC with her two losses coming to opponents who Shevchenko vanquished with relative ease, it’s comprehensible why the odds are on her aspect. That reported, Shevchenko will be the very last particular person to inform any individual that she’s just likely to wander by way of Maia for the reason that the to start with time she underestimates an opponent might be the previous time she holds the UFC title she covets so considerably.
“Because it’s MMA,” Shevchenko explained when talking to MMA Fighting. “I’m in this sport for such a extensive time. I competed in distinct martial arts. I know how issues occur. I know how things work. It’s like sometimes when individuals are just having two many years competing, they really don’t know what is going to take place or they’re likely to remain winner endlessly. This does not transpire. This is the life. You have true opponents. You have a authentic individual who needs to beat you.
“That’s why you have your head incredibly cold in creating decisions. Not owning your head in the clouds traveling over the Earth. You have to be real looking and fully grasp how things are working. My working experience in martial arts taught me how I have to be. What type of particular person I have to be to retain my position as champion.”
Maia acquired her shot at a single of the most dominant champions in UFC heritage by pulling off a submission around Joanne Calderwood, who was initially scheduled to experience Shevchenko before this year.
Sadly, Shevchenko experienced to go through surgical procedure on an hurt knee that kept her sidelined for a longer period than predicted and Calderwood opted to stay energetic by scheduling the battle with Maia. In the stop, the Brazilian tapped her out in the opening spherical and now she’ll get the opportunity to deal with Shevchenko in its place.
“I think she’s a pretty superior opponent,” Shevchenko reported about Maia. “She is a former Invicta winner. She fought a good deal and she’s preparing as superior as she can. I assume it is heading to be a fantastic combat, she’s a good opponent. It was a very good battle with Jojo, she experienced her prospect for the armbar and she under no circumstances enable it go. It is good. This is what fighters have to do, in no way enable the possibility go.
“I think it’s likely to be a very superior. I imagine of her extra of a striker, she prefers placing but that doesn’t indicate she isn’t likely to use her wrestling or clinching. I enjoy this.”
On paper it is difficult to picture a situation the place Shevchenko doesn’t retain her title on Saturday night time but the fights do not often enjoy out the way items are supposed to come about.
Outcomes just like individuals are a less-than-subtle reminder to Shevchenko to never glimpse previous any opponent, even the types she’s supposed to beat.
“As a fighter, I regard them all,” Shevchenko mentioned. “Like all girls, not just flyweight but strawweight, bantamweight, any body weight, who are fighters and follow martial arts. Mainly because it is extremely tough operate. It’s not just schooling and Okay I’m going to struggle 5 minutes for five rounds. It is a large amount of psychological perform. A large amount of actual physical operate. I regard all people, all women who have this braveness, this energy to do this perform. I know how tough it is.
“You have to take care of everyone with a large amount of respect. It’s a combat. Just about anything can come about but as a winner, as myself as a particular person, I’m not going to permit it occur just unintentionally. I’m likely to be ready for almost everything. Which is why I’m champion because I realize how items are working.”