A month after beating Katlyn Chookagian to defend her title at UFC 247, Women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko talked to SI.com to discuss her upcoming fight against Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251 in Perth, Australia on June 6. The battle will mark Shevchenko's fourth title defense.
"I'm very happy that it's happening in Australia," says Shevchenko. "We've been in Australia last year, for one month, visiting different cities...and Perth became one of my favorites."
"Joanne (Calderwood) is a strong fighter and a well rounded MMA fighter."
Shevchenko also says that she becomes quite impatient when she's not fighting and when the opportunity came to fight in June, she was more than ready to accept. "I'm the kind of fighter that's ready to fight all the time."
Outside of the Octagon, the 32-year-old champion is also making an impact in Hollywood as later this year we'll see her acting debut in Halle Berry's "Bruised," which also marks the Berry's first film as director. The movie deals with a washed-up MMA fighter (Berry) and her quest to fight again whilst trying to reunite with her six-year-old son. Shevchenko plays Berry's opponent but she also co-trained her for the role.
"We trained four hours a day with Halle, training non-stop" says Shevchenko. "She did everything amazing. For this movie she started training MMA - Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu - she started everything, two or three years ago. And she's now in such a great shape, that I can say she can be very competition for girls in UFC as well."
"I don’t know if she will want to be a fighter, but she has the skills and level..and you will see it when the movie is released."