Valentina Shevchenko is not afraid to represent Peru in the UFC.
You may have noticed that the UFC welterweight champion is definitely interviewing in Spanish, carrying the Peruvian flag in the octagon before defending her title, and even calling out Latin America in her interviews after the fight. But what you may not know is how Shevchenko (19-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) became the adoptive mother of Peru and South America.
Shevchenko’s relationship with Latin America is an interesting story, as she was born and raised far, far away from the region.
“I’m from Kyrgyzstan, but my nationality is Russian,” Shevchenko told Spanish at Hablemos MMA. “Because in the Soviet Union, when there was a Soviet Union like 1
“She met my grandfather, my mother was born and we grew up in Kyrgyzstan, but we were ethnically Russian.”
Shevchenko, who defended her 125-pound title against Jennifer Maya on November 21 at UFC 255 in Las Vegas, began training martial arts at the age of five with her older sister, Antonina, a UFC fly buddy.
Her journey through Muay Thai and martial arts not only made Shevchenko one of the best fighters on the planet, but also gave her the opportunity to live a long head of life away from home in a way that shaped her into the man she is today. .
“When I was 15, only my coach, my sister and I returned to Russia because we love to travel,” Shevchenko explained. “We were there for about three years and we always competed. I started competing at an early age, and when my coach thought it was too difficult to find opponents in professional battles for me and my sister, he decided we needed to travel a little more and experience more.
“And because Latin America is so far away from Russia, in those years it was a completely unknown continent, because the Internet wasn’t really something and there wasn’t as much information as it is now, people knew very little about how people lived in Latin America.”
Shevchenko and her coach expected to travel around Peru and South America for several months, but once there, the trip was extended considerably.
“We were just thinking of coming and visiting the country for a few months, but first we planned to go there for six months and go to my countries in Latin America.
“We chose Peru by chance, and when I first got there, I felt a great deal of affection from the people, and most importantly, everyone wanted to learn Muay Thai. So we started doing seminars, classes and we want to get a great demand for seminars. We went to Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, so we started – we toured and then eight years passed. “
Shevchenko now lives in Las Vegas. And although her time in Peru ended years ago, the 32-year-old woman looks tenderly on this period of her life.
“I love, I love this country and the continent,” Shevchenko said. “It’s a beautiful culture, very happy with great people and great food. In all the years I have lived in Peru, I now fondly remember all this happiness. It was a beautiful chapter of my life. “