Valentina Shevchenko responds to ‘interesting’ challenge from fellow UFC champ Jessica Andrade

Valentina Shevchenko says fellow UFC champ Jessica Andrade has work to do before potentially moving up in weight to fight for a second belt.

Andrade (20-6 MMA, 11-4 UFC), the reigning strawweight champion, recently said she would be interested in jumping up a division if she manages to successfully defend her title against Weili Zhang (19-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at UFC on ESPN+ 15 on Aug. 31.

Shevchenko (17-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has a title defense of her own lined up, as well, with the women’s flyweight queen set to meet Liz Carmouche (13-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) on Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 14. Andrade is captivated by a potential clash.

“That’s a fight I would really like to have,” Andrade told Brazilian news outlet Portal do Vale Tudo. “I believe that, if I win my next fight, which is my most important fight at the moment, who knows, I might ask for this Shevchenko fight. She’s the best at flyweight, so it would be a cool test for me.

“I want to see what level I’m at, if I have really improved. If I defend my title now, I do want to ask for the chance to fight Valentina and become a champion in two different weight classes.”

Shevchenko was somewhat taken off guard by Andrade’s callout. Just minutes after the Brazilian made her statement, MMA Junkie caught up with “The Bullet” and got her first reaction.

“Interesting,” Shevchenko said. “I never heard of that yet. Let’s see. Before this move she has to pass her test as well. Let’s see what happens after her fight with the Chinese girl and you never know what’s going to happen in the future.”

Shevchenko is not one to back down from a challenge. She said her own move back up a division to have a third fight with Amanda Nunes is “inevitable,” but for now the focus is on Carmouche and the 125-pound division.

“I’m very happy to be where I am now because I was waiting for this moment,” Shevchenko said. “I was very happy when the UFC decided to create flyweight and now I’m here. For my plan for the near future is to keep my belt for a long time.”

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