Valentina Shevchenko really has been in the fight game forever.
Though the flyweight queen didn’t make her UFC debut until 2015, Shevchenko is a lifelong martial artist who has been competing in muay Thai, kickboxing, and vale tudo since before she was a teenager.
On Tuesday, the now 32-year-old Shevchenko reached back into the archives to share some footage of herself at the age of 14 fighting an opponent 11 years her senior. “Bullet” is instantly recognizable as she apparently declined to wear head gear.
14 years oldme ,and myopponent of 25 yearsold One of the first professionalfights in my martial arts carrier! It took place in Oman.That time female fights in Muslimcountries was kind of rare)They tried force me to put on the helmet, but having my rebel character- I refused pic.twitter.com/Dn5y9piKf6— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) April 7, 2020
“14 years old me and my opponent of 25 years old,” Shevchenko wrote. “One of the first professional fights in my martial arts career! It took place in Oman. That time female fights in Muslim countries was kind of rare. They tried to force me to put on the helmet, but having my rebel character - I refused.”
In the clip, Shevchenko can be seen getting her hand raised, one of many victories for the future UFC champion.
Shevchenko also shared a picture of herself and her opponent.
14 years old me , and my opponent of 25 years old— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) April 7, 2020
One of the first professional fights in my martial arts carrier ! pic.twitter.com/m9zytTcxBf
Shevchenko was scheduled for the fourth defense of her UFC flyweight title against Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251 on June 6, but that bout has since been postponed due to Shevchenko suffering a leg injury.