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UFC 196 notebook: Valentina Shevchenko says she’s here ‘not to have fun,’ but to win

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LAS VEGAS — Some fighters enjoy fighting. It’s a good time. They’re in MMA, because they like to fight.

Not Valentina Shevchenko. The only thing “fun” about it to her is the winning part of it.

“What’s important to me is every victory,” Shevchenko told MMA Fighting on Thursday at UFC 196 media day. “Martial arts is my life. I’m here not to have fun. Fight for me is victory. It’s all that I want.”

Shevchenko (12-1) will face Amanda Nunes here Saturday at MGM Grand. She only has one previous UFC fight, a win over Sarah Kaufman, and she’s already knocking on the door of a women’s bantamweight title fight. If she beats Nunes, there probably isn’t another person in the division who would deserve it more.

Not that the Kyrgyzstan native is thinking that far ahead. Nunes is a very tough opponent and looking ahead just would not be in Shevchenko’s character.

“I hope this,” she said of earning a title shot. “Sure, it would be so great to fight for the title. But for me, it’s more important to win this fight.”

Shevchenko, 27, filled in on short notice against Kaufman in December and is making a quick turnaround in this fight. That’s the way she likes it. Shevchenko is always moving. She grew up in Kyrgyzstani, moved to Peru about a decade ago and now trains some of the time in Houston. For this camp, Shevchenko and her sister Antonina, both Muay Thai champions, trained in Thailand.

Holly Holm will defend her women’s bantamweight title against Miesha Tate in the co-main event Saturday. Shevchenko will be watching, but not because she’s thinking about a fight with Holm. People call Holm the best striker in the division and maybe she is. But Shevchenko has a case as a ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting