Valentina Shevchenko might have a pretty face, but those eyes have seen some s%(t. Living in Peru earlier this year, the Kyrgyzstani fighter had a brush with death earlier this year when a dinner out was disrupted by a deadly gunfight. While Shevchenko would leave unscathed, her coach wasn’t so lucky, absorbing a bullet and spending a length of time in the hospital.
Her coach would survive, but Shevchenko refused to pretend that she was unshaken by this incident. With just a few days left until her major fight with Holly Holm at UFC on Fox 20, Shevchenko opened up on the incident with Fox Sports:
“It was horrible what happened. It affected me so much. One week I couldn’t train at all. I spent all the time in the hospital with my coach. So I could not think about nothing. It was a very, very bad week that I had…In the hospital, I think one or two days after everything happened my coach said ‘Valentina, you need to keep going and training for the fight.’ So after a few days I started to concentrate and step by step I got back to the training. But those few days were very, very bad for me.”
The incident was most certainly a scary one for all involved. On the night of May 30, three robbers came in brandishing guns and robbed the register and safe of the restaurant Shevchenko was eating in, before turning their attention to customers, stealing valuables and assaulting a number of people.
When Shevchenko’s coach fought back with a pistol of his own, it resulted in a nasty shootout. When all was said and done, three people were injured, two customers were shot (including her coach) and one of the robbers was dead.
Shevchenko used fighting as a distraction to get away from the initial shock, and says that, with time, she managed to reset her mind and focus entirely on Holm. That fight should be a good one, two, between an accomplished kickboxer in Shevchenko and a highly decorated boxer in Holm. Make sure to check back on Saturday night for the results.
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