Valentina Shevchenko sees similarities between Katlyn Chookagian and Holly Holm’s styles

Valentina Shevchenko believes she’s already faced a similar style opponent to her next challenger, Katlyn Chookagian.

Shevchenko (18-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) defends her flyweight title vs. Chookagian (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 247 on Feb. 8 in Houston and thinks Chookagian possesses similar traits as one of her past opponents, former UFC 135-pound champ Holly Holm, who she was able to outpoint over the course of five rounds in 2016.

“You know, I see her style a little bit – not completely, but a little bit – similar to Holly Holm’s style,” Shevchenko said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” “Liking fighting on a distance, having her distance, and I think no one was complaining from my fight with Holly. Everybody liked it, so I think it’s going to be good.”

Since dropping down to flyweight, Chookagian has gone 4-1 and is coming off back-to-back wins over Joanne Calderwood and Jennifer Maia, but has yet to score a finish in her UFC career.

And while Shevchenko received quite a bit of criticism for her last title defense, a unanimous decision win over Liz Carmouche in Uruguay, “The Bullet” said it’s most likely because of the momentum she was riding from her “Knockout of the Year” contender over Jessica Eye.

“Of course I understand why people were expecting, because coming from second-round KO, head-kick KO, everyone was expecting the same, but like I say every time, all people are different,” Shevchenko said.

“I never think about what happened before, because it already happened. I had a great fight there, and if you can take a look at the fight, it was a very technical fight, and I had several knockdowns in this fight.”

One thing’s for sure: Shevchenko does not seem to take any opponent lightly. She said she knew she’d cross paths with Chookagian eventually and is fully focused on her now, since she’s the next task at hand.

“Yes, I saw her fight,” Shevchenko said. “I never was like too much paying attention on her performances because she never was like opponent No. 1 for me because it was every time – you know me, every time I have my opponent No. 1, and I’m ready for this kind of opponent,” Shevchenko said. “I was preparing for Jessica, then for Liz Carmouche. Of course I look at other girls’ fights, … but it’s never paying too much attention, but now it’s time to pay a lot of attention to her fighting style, and I think everything is going to be good.”

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