Valentina Shevchenko on vicious KO of Jessica Eye at UFC 238: If you don't give it, you will get it
CHICAGO – Valentina Shevchenko is glad Jessica Eye appeared to be OK after a frightening knockout on Saturday night at UFC 238. However, the UFC women’s flyweight champion doesn’t seem to have any regrets about delivering such a brutal finish.
Shevchenko (17-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) lived up to the incredibly lopsided odds for the bout with Eye (14-7 MMA, 4-6 UFC) when she delivered a devastating second-round knockout victory courtesy of a head kick to defend her title for the first time. The challenger was down on the canvas for several minutes after taking the blow, and there was legitimate concern about her condition before “Evil” eventually made her way back to her feet.
The champion said she wasn’t fully aware of how badly Eye was hurt until the initial adrenaline rush wore off.
“I didn’t know how deep it was,” Shevchenko told MMA Junkie during the post-UFC 238 news conference. “Only after the referee stopped the fight, and I went to the corner, and I saw she’s not getting up, and then I started to think. At the very first moment it’s hard to think about this.”
Shevchenko doesn’t appear to have any remorse for her knockout, though. Eye came into the fight speaking confidently about her chances of pulling off a historic upset, but Shevchenko came out looking to make a statement, and she did what was necessary to keep the belt.
“It’s sport, it’s MMA, and we are training for this. If you are not doing this kind of KO, you will get this kind of KO. No one wants to get it, and that’s why we are trading very hard to get better than our opponent. Everyone who steps into the octagon, they know what they can get inside there.”
Since Shevchenko won the 125-pound belt against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December, she has vowed to be an active champion who takes on all comers. She absorbed just two significant strikes in the fight with Eye and left the octagon free of serious injury.
Shevchenko had wanted a quicker turnaround than the six months between fights prior to UFC 238 and said she hopes that will be the case ahead of her next fight.
“I will start to think about (when I want to fight again) tomorrow,” Shevchenko said. “I will rest one week maybe and go back to the training, because I am never resting. Of course I am ready to get back to the training camp and have another fight, and I think three, four months from here it would be nice (to fight again).”
As far as a potential opponent goes, Shevchenko is not picky. Katlyn Chookagian (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who defeated Joanne Calderwood (13-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) by split decision in what many believed was a title eliminator on the UFC 238 undercard, called for a title shot post-fight. Shevchenko said she didn’t see the contest, but if the UFC brass deems the win worthy of a title fight, the champ will readily accept.
“If she’s in the position to be the No. 1 contender, why not?” Shevchenko said.