Taila Santos shows grit and determination and put up a strong fight against Valentina Shevchenko when the two came head to head for the flyweight championship at UFC 275 in Singapore in June this year. The night may have ended with Santos losing the fight but her dogged spirit and ability to complicate matters for Shevchenko were the main takeaways from the fight.
Santos, however, says that she has waited for another assignment with Shevchenko since then and has accused her of ‘running away’ because she’s scared of a rematch.
Immediately after her bout with Shevchenko in UFC 275, Santos was told that she would have to go under the knife and needed surgery to fix a broken orbital after a clash of heads with the reigning champion. The injury and the resulting concussion may have played its part in determining the course of that contest, but Santos eventually decided not to opt for surgery.
She has recuperated well since then and has been cleared for months now. The 29-year-old has spent the last few months in waiting mode on the sidelines.
“We’ve been asking for fights over and over again — asking for the rematch, really,” Santos said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Tiago [Okamura, manager] spoke with Mick [Maynard] and the UFC, informed them I was well and training. They even said that Valentina was running. She asked them for fights, but not against me.”
According to the Brazilian talent, the UFC matchmaker called six or seven girls, and no one agreed to fight her.
“I’m training and waiting, but it’s been hard to get a fight,” she said. “I wanted the rematch, but Valentina didn’t agree to it. Based on her social media, she’s just traveling.”
Prior to her clash with Shevchenko in June, Santos had won four consecutive UFC events against the likes of Molly McCann, Roxanne Modafferi and Joanne Wood . However, she is less than impressed by Shevchenko’s refusal to meet for a second time but also added that she’s hardly surprised by it.
“I showed that there was no reason to fear [her]. I knew she wouldn’t accept a rematch after that fight. I called her out anyway, but I knew she wouldn’t take the risk of losing her belt. She wouldn’t rematch me after I showed she was no big deal. She’s scared.”