Count UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko among those willing to take a trip to “Fight Island” for UFC 251.
Actually, count her among those who may end up insisting her next fight takes place on the mysterious facility UFC president Dana White has recurrently mentioned the company is recently constructing to house international fights during the present ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
“From the very, very first second when I heard about the island, it was already my favorite idea,” Shevchenko told MMA Junkie Radio. “Yes, I definitely would love to fight there.”
The Kyrgyzstani-born champ recently lives and trains herself in Las Vegas, but it doesn’t take a long look through her social media to realize she has a passion for traveling, and exotic locales certainly suit with her taste, especially those of the tropical variety. To repair a torn MCL, there are three weeks that are removed from a surgery. Shevchenko (19-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) said that she’s healing up quickly and looking to rebook her planned title defense against Joanne Calderwood (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC), which was actually hoped to take place at UFC 251 on June 6 in Australia.
“Now I hope it’s going to happen sometime in the end of August, and why not – why not on the island?” Shevchenko asked. “It can be like a double great thing, and definitely, I love the idea of the island. I love it because on the island is going to be everything that a fighter needs, right? Because it’s going to be built specially for the UFC fights, for the UFC fighters. That’s why we will have all facilities that we need, and it’s going to be very easy to train, very easy to do everything.”
Details info of the facility which include its place, remain scarce, with a tight-lipped Dana White rejecting to offer up much more information about this. But his primary teases have made it sound like something similar to a resort for UFC athletes. To attend, they’ll just have to be willing to take part in a cagefight rather than sit through a timeshare presentation.
Of course, the UFC’s whole match schedule is still a bit uncertain at this time. The promotion wish to be running live events again beginning May 9, but regulators could very well step in between now and then, much as they did to scrap UFC 249 from this weekend’s docket.
So for now, Shevchenko will just maintain her training through Nevada’s stay-at-home orders, which currently last until April 30. Shevchenko admits about her training which has not been so terribly impacted by the quarantine that is in place over most of the U.S. after all, she’s always trained herself in a small circle that includes her sister, Antonina, and her coach Pavel Fedotov, rather than a massive fight team or super camp.
Still, Shevchenko said keeping this regimen all through a fight camp would have some impact on her ability to rotate through different partners in her training sessions, due to the constantly changing styles she faces from different bodies, she says keeps her sharp .
“Definitely it’s not affecting me as much as, for example, other fighters, but from the other side, yes, it’s affecting me because I need to use not just one training partner,” Shevchenko said. “I used to use two switching partners in a session because this is what I do, combining the styles, and for me, it’s necessary to have all the styles going around me to be able to switch.”
“I have to be able to switch my mind to another work, to another fight strategy. This can affect me because now you will have only one training partner, and the best-case scenario two training partners, but definitely it’s not affecting me that much as other fighters because this is the kind of lifestyle that I had, like training with one team, and it’s all about my internal preparation and all these things. Definitely, for me it’s not difficult because I’m a person that adapts.”
Obviously, a lot can happen between now and late August, and most people around the world hope we’ll be in a different situation by then in terms of coronavirus concerns. In the meantime, Shevchneko said that her rehab is going as planned this far and she’s targeting for that late August date – and that ‘Fight Island’ location.
“I would love to have my training camp over there before the fight, to fight there, and actually to stay and recover after the fight on the island because I imagine it’s going to be super beautiful and a super nice place,” Shevchenko said.
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