The defending titleholder Valentina Shevchenko said she had a cordial relationship with Jessica Eye before the fight was announced and sees no reason to change things now, even if Eye really wants otherwise.
Eye has taken swipes at Shevchenko on social media, and the duo have been at the UFC Performance Institute at the same time, which has the potential to create awkward moments.
“Yes, we saw each other”, Shevchenko told reporters on Friday at the UFC PI. “Sometimes we’re crossing, I’m finishing my training and she’s around. For me there is no problem to say hello to her, because fight is fight. Before the announcement that we’re going to fight each other, we were even talking before, I cannot say that we were friends, but we were, okay, normal relationship. Why you have to change it right now?”
So if Eye is going to get riled up about her opponent, Shevchenko isn’t going to sweat it.
“I think from her side it has a little bit changed because I see different eyes, and, like I say, you meet people and if it’s affected like this, it’s not my problem, it’s her problem,” Shevchenko said. “For me, it doesn’t change nothing, the fight. I’m ready for the fight, and this is what. I want, to fight good, and I’m going for it and nothing can destroy me for my goal.”
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) May 26, 2019
So Eye’s behavior, to Shevchenko, is nothing she hasn’t seen before from others. She has been around the fight game, both in kickboxing and MMA, long enough.
“It’s her deal, and whatever she thinks, she thinks,” Shevchenko said. “You know, I am dealing with so many different types of fighters and people, they are acting differently, someone aggressively, someone trying to pretend you’re friends and then start doing different things. I see them all. She cannot surprise me with something different because I saw it. I saw how they’re acting and everything they’re trying to, they think they’re too smart but they are not. Jessica, she is not exceptional.”