UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko issued a stirring rebuke of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s quote that UFC ring girls are “useless” after she defended her world title against Lauren Murphy at UFC 266 in Las Vegas.
Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian star Shevchenko earned her sixth successive title defense with a dominant showing against Murphy, outworking the American in all facets of the fight before mercifully stopping her outmatched opponent in the fourth round.
A well-timed right hook floored Murphy before Shevchenko pounded to unleash a barrage of elbows on the ground which prompted the referee to step in, securing Shevchenko’s status as one of the most dominant female champions in the history of the UFC.
The win ties Ronda Rousey’s record for the most successful title defences (6) as she improved her career ledger to an impressive 22-3 – and after making a clear-voiced statement as to her fighting skills in the cage, Shevchenko made another as she exited the Octagon.
Gotta love the dance
— Combat Academia (@CombatAcademia) September 26, 2021
6️⃣th title defense in the books for @BulletValentina ✅
— UFC (@ufc) September 26, 2021
After former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent comments that ring girls are “useless“, Shevchenko made a point of approaching the bikini-clad beauties on duty at UFC 266 to offer her support – and speaking to the media afterwards, she offered a stark condemnation of Khabib’s comments.
“Beautiful women is a decoration of any event. I want people to know that, and no one has the right to say that they are useless because they’re at the place that they have to be,” Shevchenko said.
“They were here at the beginning. You [can] come to any event [and] you will see beautiful women. A man, everyone enjoys it – it’s kind of like beautiful, right? This is a decoration.
Valentina Shevchenko made a point to rebuke Khabib Nurmagomedov's recent comments about ring girls being “useless.” pic.twitter.com/9F8DzEDU1m
— The Mac Life (@TheMacLife) September 26, 2021
“This is my message: a beautiful woman is a decoration of any event.”
Shevchenko’s comments are the latest in a torrent of pushback against Nurmagomedov for what many are perceiving as his ‘sexist’ statement – he was previously savaged by UFC fighter Kevin Lee, as well as former arch-rival Conor McGregor.
Indeed, Shevchenko had previously made clear her disappointment with Nurmagomedov in an interview leading up to her clash with Murphy, saying: “[Ring girls are] a huge part of any promotion.
“For mixed martial arts, we don’t need anything. We just need an opponent, maybe referee, maybe judges. We don’t need fans, we don’t need lights, we don’t need sound, we don’t need anything.
“But what the promotion do is creating all of this. And ring girls are definitely part of it.”
After another supremely impressive showing on the sport’s biggest stages, some of the UFC’s biggest names took to social media to pay tribute to ‘The Bullet’.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 26, 2021
Damn! She’s a fast as a…bullet
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) September 26, 2021
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 26, 2021
“Great night of fights. Valentina, you are tremendous!” wrote McGregor on Twitter.
“Damn! She’s a fast as a… bullet,” added middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya.
“Got my photo, and if the champ wants to speak three languages then go ahead,” said Daniel Cormier, a confirmed Shevchenko fanboy. “Congrats on another victory, champion!“
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