Valentina Shevchenko has been in Phuket preparing for her rematch with Alexa Grasso at UFC Fight Night 227. She will be looking to recapture her strawweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this weekend.

It look set to be a pivotal moment in the 35 year old’s career and Tiger Muay Thai has released a documentary giving some insight into the training camp which Shevchenko has been through. In the video she can be seen visiting a variety of locations in Phuket including the firing range and the beach.

But mainly Shevchenko is training. She is looking to avenge her shock defeat to Grasso at UFC 285 and recapture the belt she held from 2018 until 2023.


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Active meditation

In the video she has a lot of praise for her coach, Pavel Fedotov, who also happens to be married to her sister,

“He is an amazing coach, a natural coach. He doesn’t just give you technique but he explains how to use it and how to adopt it in your fight.”

Fedotov has been training the sisters since they were small children. In the video she explains that it was him who gave her the nickname ‘Bullet’ and Shevchenko also explains her love of guns,

“There are parallels with a fight. You are thinking about you target and how to hit your target. It’s like active meditation.”

Looking up

The relationship between Shevchenko and her coach goes back several decades and she sounds in awe of him,

“The person who I look up to is my coach Pavel because of his knowledge, discipline and (achieving) his goals. He has a very strong character.”

Her mother was a Muay Thai champion who was also involved in the sport on the organizational side. Her older sister, Antonina Shevchenko, is a veteran of eight UFC fights and the younger sister says that as a child she never had to look too far for inspiration,

“I was looking up to three people. My coach, my sister and my Mum.”

Unpredictable sport

Shevchenko was on course for a clear cut decision win when she got caught with a face crank late in the fourth round. For the 35 year old this encapsulates why MMA is such an unpredictable sport,

“Even if you know you are the best fighter you have to pay attention to what is happening. I was winning the fight, doing everything right but just one second and everything is different.”

But while Shevchenko is philosophical about the manner in which her five year winning streak was brought to an end she is adamant that there will be no reoccurrence this weekend,

“It happened but it’s not going to happen again.”