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Taila Santos Says Valentina Shevchenko is Scared of a Rematch

Taila Santos
(Paul Miller/ USA TODAY Sports)

Taila Santos Says Valentina Shevchenko is Scared of a Rematch

At UFC 275, Valentina Shevchenko attempted to defend her women’s flyweight championship against Taila Santos. Technically, she accomplished that goal as she won the fight on the judges’ scorecards, but you can make the argument that Santos won.

After that bout, many people believed the pair should rematch. However, that is unlikely as Santos is claiming Shevchenko declined the fight.

“We’ve been asking for fights over and over again — asking for the rematch, really,” Santos said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Tiago [Okamura, manager] spoke with Mick [Maynard] and the UFC, informed them I was well and training. They even said that Valentina was running. She asked them for fights, but not against me.”

“All the girls say Valentina is a monster, but I’ve been saying for a while she has no ground game,” Santos said. “I showed that there was no reason to fear [her]. I knew she wouldn’t accept a rematch after that fight. I called her out anyway, but I knew she wouldn’t take the risk of losing her belt. She wouldn’t rematch me after I showed she was no big deal. She’s scared.” Quote via MMAFighting.

If Shevchenko is looking to defend her belt against someone other than Santos, Manon Fiorot is the best option. She is coming off a great win over perennial top-contender Katlyn Chookagian.

With that in mind, Santos has begun looking at fights outside of Shevchenko.

“I’m ranked No. 2 in the UFC, so I would like to fight someone around me,” Santos said. “I would like to fight the No. 1, [Manon] Fiorot, or the one below me, [Katlyn] Chookagian. People keep talking and talking, mentioning fighters that have retired already, but no one says my name.” Quote via MMAFighting.

As we mentioned, Fiorot will likely be the next title challenger so that fight is likely off the table. Outside of Shevchenko and Fiorot, the best option for Santos is Chookagian. A win over her could put Santos right back into title talks. Otherwise, she would likely be looking at a fight with Alexa Grasso, Lauren Murphey, or Jessica Andrade. Those are not terrible fights, but they are further away from than title picture than Santos appears to want.

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