5'5" lightweight Valentina "The Bullet" Shevchenko
was born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on March 7, 1988 and became interested
in fighting sports at an early age. She began with taekwondo at
age 5, under the influence of her mother who had practiced the sport
and of her older sister Antonina. At age 12 she branched out
Muay Thai kickboxing then free style Vale Tudo. As
David Menayo in a 2010 interview: "I
cannot imagine life outside the
ring because this world is everything to me ... I like a lot
martial arts and I think it's a philosophy of life".
Her kickboxing career
began in Kyrgyzstan
when at age 12 she knocked out a 22-year-old opponent, earning her the
moniker "Bullet" from her trainer Pavel Fedotov because of her speed in
and her sister Antonina lived
with their family in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia,
but spent a lot of time doing kickboxing training in
Amateur then professional Muay Thai competition took
Thailand, Korea, China,
France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. A night-time
with a mugger who tried to rob her of her
persuade her to live outside Russia.
A visit to Peru after
she won the World Cup of Muay Thai in 2007 turned into a life-changing
event for Valentina.
The sisters had originally gone to South
America with trainer Fedotov to teach kickboxing classes, but Valentina
fell in love
with Peru and decided to live there and become
a citizen. "Peru
is a beautiful country that has it all ... beach, mountains and jungle",
Valentina, adding "I
love its people, landscapes, and cuisine".
had over 500 amateur fights in different combat styles. She
the World Muay Thai Federation champion in 2006 and won the gold medal
at the IFMA championships in 2003, 2006, 2009 anmd 2011. She is also a
two-time (2003 and 2006) World Pankration champion. She
Alfia Ishirgakova of Russia in the semifinal and El Majydy Aicha of
Morocco in the final at the IFMA World Muay Thai Championship in
Tashkent, Uzbekistan in September, 2011.
competes in the Muay Thai Premier League which features the
Thai fighters in the world: on September 2, 2011 at the Walter
Pyramid in Long Beach, California, she defeated
Angelique Pitot by a split decision.
As of November 2011 her only
pro loss came at the Red River Rivalry in Carmouche, Oklahoma on
September 30 2010 when she retired at the end of second round
of a shootboxing contest with Liz "Girl-Rilla" Carmouche of San Diego,
made her professional boxing debut on May 8, 2010
took on Halana Dos Santos of San Felipe, Brazil at Coliseo
Marotta, Callao, Peru, winning an unusually messy fight by a
(96-94,100-90,100-90) decision. Shevchenko, fighting out of
long adopted kickboxing stance, carried some of her
methods into the action at close quarters and Dos
Santos frequently appealed ... without success ...
to referee Pablo Robles to enforce the rules of boxing
competition and penalize Shevchenko. Although the 5'9" Dos
Santos had boxing experience that included
title fights with Laura Tavecchio and Kina Malpartida, she lacked the
strength or quickness to hold the
hard charging Shevchenko at bay. The fight frequently became a
grappling and shoving match against the ropes
Muay Thai instincts apparently took over while the referee
struggled to maintain some semblance of boxing order. Dos
12-3 with the loss.
On December 17, 2011 at the Pueblo Libra Reserclub in
Lima, Peru, Valentina won by a TKO over Nurys (aka Nerys) Rincon of
Arjona, Colombia. Rincon retired at the start of the fourth round
after she had gone to the canvas several times in the third. As
in her match with Halana Dos Santos, Shevchenko fought from a Muay Thai
stance and at times used Muay Thai grappling and shoving tactics which
Rincon protested to no avail. Rincon fell to 9-4-2 with the loss,
while the question of how the rules of boxing will apply to
Shevchenko's matches in Peru was exacerbated by the way in
which she reached the 2-0 mark.
It was announced that Shevchenko would face American Mary McGee of Gary, Indiana in Lima, Peru for the vacant WIBA Lightweight
title on January 14, 2012.
The quick elevation of
Shevchenko to WIBA world title contender status on her home
turf was controversial. WIBA
belt-holder Melissa Hernandez
and fellow New Yorker made a show of ditching her WIBA belts
in a dumpster, declaring
that "It's a slap in the face to the sport that I love.
It's a slap in the face to the women who bust their butts everyday in
the gym. The only way Valentina Shevchenko should be involved in a
title fight is if she bought a ticket."
Beside her successful career
competing and teaching in Muay Thai, Vale
Tudo and other martial arts competition, Valentina also teaches Russian
dancing, belly dancing and gypsy dances [video].
Her favorite is the Iezginka dance from southern
Russia which was used to prepare warriors for combat.
Other Valentina Shevchenko links
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with
huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records
last updated: Sunday, December 17, 2011