UFC champion Shevchenko hails Thailand after retaining title
Mixed martial artist Valentina Shevchenko from Kyrgyzstan gave a shout-out to Thai fans – in Thai – after successfully defending her UFC flyweight title on Saturday.
Her post-fight interview with former UFC champion-turned MC Daniel Cormier saw Shevchenko speak in English and Kyrgyz, before shocking fans in Thailand by switching to their mother tongue.
Speaking in fluent Thai, she paid homage to the land where she learnt her awesome fighting skills.
“Hi Thai fans. My name is Valentina. I am a Muay Thai athlete. Muay Thai is a really strong sport. Hello Tiger Muay Thai, my gym. Hello, and thank you.”
Shevchenko learnt the Thai language while training at the Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket. The gym is a world-famous training ground for MMA fighters from around the globe.
Shevchenko put her UFC Women's Flyweight title on the line against Lauren Murphy, for UFC 266 at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada on Saturday. She won by TKO in the fourth round, improving her MMA record to 22 wins and 3 losses.
Muay Thai is the chosen martial art of many famous MMA fighters, including Joanna Jędrzejczyk from Poland. Jędrzejczyk is former UFC Women's strawweight champion and currently No 2 in the rankings. She competed in Muay Thai for more than 10 years, starring in the “Sud Suay Muay Thai (World Muay Thai Angels) competition.