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The fist Nunes landed in their faceoff? Valentina Shevchenko plans to answer with 10 more at UFC 213

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LOS ANGELES – After an altercation that turned physical outside the octagon, Valentina Shevchenko is ready to give champ Amanda Nunes the payback inside of it.

Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who are set to headline Saturday’s UFC 213, are no strangers to one another. First, they met inside the octagon in a UFC 196 encounter that ended in a unanimous call for Nunes in March of 2016. More recently, however, the two engaged in a different type of exchange during their “UFC Summer Kickoff” face-off in May.

While Nunes says she was first met by a hand that the camera angles didn’t show, the image that circulated was that of the champ’s hand laying on the challenger’s face. On her end, Shevchenko credits the altercation to Nunes’ difficulty to control her nerves in face of all the pressure and attention.

In any case, she’ll have her chance to sort things out soon enough – this time, with the UFC’s women’s bantamweight belt on the line.

“For me, my response is very easy: For that punch, I will respond (with) 10 more punches at the time of the fight,” Schevchenko told MMAjunkie ahead of the pay-per-view headliner, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Of course, that one out-of-context blow isn’t the only thing Shevchenko looks to avenge on Saturday. She also has the chance to get back the UFC 196 outcome that catapulted Nunes to the UFC 200 headlining spot that would end with her title win over Miesha Tate.

Things have changed since then – Nunes not only conquered but defended the belt once, against ex-champ Ronda Rousey, while Schevchenko beat ex-champ Holly Holm and contender Julianna Pena in order to earn the rematch and title shot. But, as far as preparation goes, the challenger says it isn’t much different than the one ahead of that first encounter more than an year ago.

“I’m expecting everything, I’m preparing for everything,” Schevchenko said. “I’ve prepared for more, to show the best of me. Differently, I cannot say that differently. But we were working on everything. Striking, wrestling, ground, everything.

“And, of course, a lot of work for when you cannot move anymore, but you have to move. And this power of thoughts is pushing you. This is the main part that, every time, gives us the victory.”

Shevchenko may have lost the first bout, but it’s not like she got embarrassed in the process. On the contrary – her dominant third round made for a separate narrative, which posed the question as to what the outcome would have been had the fight been longer.

Shevchenko is now, obviously, hoping for a different result. And while she’s ready for however that may come, she’d prefer to keep it off the judges’ hands this time around.

“I will try to finish her as soon as I can – this is one thing that I know exactly,” Shevchenko said. “I don’t like to imagine, to dream about how it will end. I’m more realistic. And I’ve prepared for everything. I’ve prepared to finish, I’ve prepared to do everything that I have to do to take the victory, and I will do it.”

To hear from Shevchenko, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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