Valentina Shevchenko is one of the most recognizable figures in MMA right now. Not only is she one of the most decorated female fighters in the UFC, but she will also be on the cover of the upcoming UFC 5 video game. Currently the #1 ranked contender in women’s flyweight, Valentina’s journey is truly something special.
Making her way to the UFC in 2015, Shevchenko boasted an exemplary record in Muay Thai and kickboxing. Over the years, Valentina has fought in promotions all over the world including Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Korea, and China. Within three years, ‘Bullet’ solidified her position in women’s flyweight before taking on then-champ and familiar foe, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. In the past, the two had faced off on numerous occasions during their kickboxing days.
Here, a similar trend continued and Shevchenko was crowned the flyweight champ at UFC 231. Since then, Shevchenko has ruled over the division with a firm hand, racking up 7 defenses. During her reign, Valentina dispatched top contenders like Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica Andrade, Taila Santos, and more.
What is Valentina Shevchenko’s ethnicity?
Interestingly, there has been a lot of discussion about Valentina’s ethnicity and what country she belongs to. As it turns out, Valentina was born in Frunze, Kirghiz SSR (now Kyrgyzstan), Soviet Union on March 7, 1988. Despite her place of birth being Kyrgyzstan, fans have often noticed the 35-year-old also brings the El Pendón Bicolor, the flag of Peru for her fights.
Speaking about the matter, Valentina has revealed that Peru was almost a second home to her, having spent 8 years there. It was in Peru that Valentina saw her popularity grow at a rapid rate, owing to her Muay Thai lessons. Moreover, she has also spoken about how she likes to represent the culture of wherever she has traveled. This includes her birthplace of Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Texas (USA), and even Thailand.
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Since numerous fighters have raised the Thai flag already, Valentina chooses to bring out the Kyrgyz and Peruvian flag instead. Spending time across various different parts of the globe, Valentina has many homes. According to her, exposing herself to new cultures, people, and athletes from around the world, is what makes for an ideal lifestyle. Thus, Shevchenko imbibes the values and upholds the cultures of all the places she has lived in.
Is Valentina Shevchenko Russian?
Although the former flyweight champ represents Peru and Kyrgyzstan in the UFC, she also has ties to Russia. Born in a Russian-Ukrainian family, Shevchenko has often described herself as being Russian and claimed it to be her language as well. Notably, Valentina’s family had Soviet and later Kyrgyzstan citizenship. As it turns out, Valentina’s grandmother had moved from Russia to Kyrgyzstan a long time ago,
Having started her martial arts journey in Kyrgyzstan, Valentina went to Russia with her sister at 15. Here, she competed for three years in Russia, due to not getting matchups in her home country of Kyrgyzstan. As such, Valentina gained valuable experience in Russia and has thus identified as a Russian in numerous interviews as well.
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Similarly, a lot of questions have been asked regarding what religion she follows. Initially, many assumed that Valentina may be a Muslim, owing to her roots whilst some have hinted at her potentially being Christian. Moreover, Valentina herself has often been seen carrying out Buddhist rituals in Vietnam. All things considered, it would seem that much like her nationality, Shevchenko imbibes the values of many religions as well.