No-one was expecting Valentina Shevchenko to lose last weekend. The former flyweight champion was submitted in the fourth round by Alexa Grasso at UFC 285.

In the blink of an eye she went from being the most dominant champion on the UFC roster to losing her title. But Shevchenko was magnanimous in the wake of her shock defeat.

She told fans that there were ‘no excuses’:

First loss

It was Shevchenko’s first loss since 2017. She had held the title for five years and successfully defended it seven times with both fans and oddsmakers expecting her to extend that number to eight against Grasso.

But the Mexican had other ideas and finished Shevchenko with a face crank in the fourth round. While the former champion is not making excuses she is expecting to be offered an immediate rematch:

Martial arts is my life and I will be back for immediate rematch stronger than ever.


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Total domination

Shevchenko has dominated the flyweight division for the past six years. The 34 year old also feels she was dominating the fight before being caught in the submission,

Fight doesn’t forgive any mistake! Especially it feels frustrating when you was dominating all the fight.

The judges didn’t quite see it this way. All three awarded the first round to Grasso and rounds two and three to Shevchenko so even if she had somehow survived the submission attempt there is no way the champion would have been ahead going into the final round.

She prepared for this fight in Tokyo, training at a few different camps in and around the city. It was a surprising choice from Shevchenko and it will be interesting to see whether she repeats that particular experiment.

She sounds very confident of being awarded an immediate rematch and no-one could argue Shevchenko didn’t deserve it. But whatever the future holds she doesn’t sound too despondent and believes that ultimately this setback will only make her stronger telling her 2.7 million Instagram followers that,

Difficult times built strong people.