Aside from being the reigning UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion and one of the best women MMA fighters of all time, Valentina Shevchenko is also renowned for her vocal presence in the cageside during her sister Antonina’s fights, and she recently revealed the reason.
Antonina Shevchenko, the older sibling of Valentina, is a Muay Thai fighter and is also part of the UFC’s Flyweight roster and whenever she’s making contact in the Octagon, a loud “HEYYYYYYY!” comes from her supportive sister the cageside.
Antonina’s most recent outing against Cortney Casey at UFC Vegas 58, which ended in a controversial split decision victory for “La Pantera” was no different, as Valentina was constant with her grunts whenever Antonina landed strikes or kicks.
Because it’s the exact style of Muay Thai fights: Valentina Shevchenko
La Pantera is BACK in the win column!@AntoninaPantera #UFCVegas58 pic.twitter.com/EqCTe4yc9G
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2022
While it may appear as simple enthusiasm for her sister, there’s a specific reason why Valentina does so, and during a recent appearance on Paltrocast, she revealed to Darren Paltrowitz that the screams are part of the Muay Thai customary.
“You know, that’s funny, because it’s the exact style of Muay Thai fights, Muay Thai and Thai boxing. This is how fighters are reacting on every single hit, on every single strike,” said Shevchenko, “You know, this is like culture, culture from Thailand. You hear that they have not one or two persons screaming that ‘Hey! Hey!’ on every single strike, but then you hear the whole stadium screaming the sound. It’s kind of like, impressive. It takes you deep through the soul.”
Coming from Muay Thai heritage herself, where she is a 17-time world champion, Shevchenko does want to bring more of the sport into the world of MMA.
“I felt that, and I know how it sounds and how it feels. I would love that more people get familiar with this amazing Thai culture. Me, being a 17(-time) Muay Thai world champion, I definitely want to bring more Thai boxing culture into mixed martial arts,” she added. [H/T MMA News]
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