Valentina Shevchenko laughs at Erin Blanchfield’s criticisms. She’s like “a young puppy barking about”


Considering the long list of bodies left in her wake, Valentina Shevchenko should be bulletproof against any criticism about her abilities as a fighter.

With a 23-3 overall record, including 12 UFC wins and seven consecutive title defenses as a flyweight, Shevchenko has looked almost untouchable at times. Erin Blanchfield, a rising star in the UFC, was able to see the positive side of Shevchenko’s game when she examined it recently.

” I think that on the actual floor her jiu jitsu is not too bad, but it’s very basic,” Blanchfield stated recently. “I don’t think she has many submissions. I don’t think she can get out of certain positions very well, like what we saw against Taila [Santos]. I kind of think that’s where her game is the most basic and probably could use some improvement.”

Addressing those comments, Shevchenko didn’t seem offended. Blanchfield’s comments were not offensive to Shevchenko, considering their vast differences in experience.

” It’s funny to hear her saying that. Especially when she’s a girl 23 year old who has had five fights [in the UFC],” Shevchenko said to MMA Fighting. It’s funny .”

Shevchenko was here before. Her reign of champion will be ended by other promising young prospects. She doesn’t discount Blanchfield as a quality contender by any means, but she also understands that with time comes knowledge and maturity — two qualities in abundance with more rounds against the best fighters in the world.

“For me, it’s good comparing when you see a young puppy, he’s barking around, jumping around, he’s happy, he hasn’t seen life yet, didn’t experience any trouble in life and the ears are up,” Shevchenko explained. As a puppy grows up and enters adulthood, they begin to face real problems in life. They learn to manage their emotions, be a person, and how to find their own lifestyle.

“That’s what’s happening with these kinds of fighters, as well. They are young, they are not afraid yet. They didn’t experience much pressure yet. It’s before the first strikes, before the first real competition. Maycee Barber was the first to experience this, but it has happened to many other fighters. After that happened, you kind of see them start to speak differently. They become a mature individual

Shevchenko believes Blanchfield can eventually learn another song once she has faced all the trials and tribulations of experience.

” It’s really fun to see them change their speech in a few years.

As of now, Blanchfield currently sports an 11-1 record overall with five straight wins in the UFC with her most convincing victory coming over Andrade with a second-round submission. Blanchfield also defeated a top five ranked opponent for the first time, but that did not convince Shevchenko she is looking to the future.

“It’s kind of like she won the fight but Jessica Andrade took [the fight] on one week’s notice,” Shevchenko said. It’s hard to believe that she trained for the fight.

” In my opinion she kinda walked in, took money, and flew home. It’s not blaming her for doing that but she wasn’t the same shape when you have an entire training camp.”

That said, UFC President Dana White seems to think Blanchfield is probably next in line for a title shot assuming Shevchenko can get through Alexa Grasso in her title defense coming up at UFC 285.

“Should Valentina defeat Grasso? Blanchfield actually makes a lot more sense,” White stated to Barstool Sports. She looked terrible [against Andrade].”


With a title fight just days away, Shevchenko isn’t really thinking about Blanchfield. Shevchenko is open to new challenges, if it’s the UFC’s future fight.

“I’m not discarding [her],” Shevchenko said. “Erin, she has a lot of skills, she has good perspective and if she continues to do the same, it could bring her to the title as well.”