Valentina Shevchenko is set to undergo surgery following her recent injury.
The former flyweight champion suffered a broken thumb in the first round of her rematch against Alexa Grasso at Noche UFC. She revealed on Instagram that doctors diagnosed her with a "comminuted fracture that requires surgery." Additional sources confirmed that Shevchenko is expected to be able to resume contact sports approximately three months after the surgery.
Despite the hand injury, Shevchenko battled to a split draw with Grasso after a hard-fought five-round bout. Judge Mike Bell's controversial 10-8 scorecard for Grasso in the fifth round prevented Shevchenko from reclaiming the UFC flyweight title by split decision, resulting in a split draw and Grasso retaining her title.
Following the disappointing result and her hand injury, Shevchenko mentioned that she would take some time to decide her next steps, but she expressed an interest in facing Grasso in a trilogy once she's fully recovered. Grasso stated her willingness to accept whatever the UFC decides for her next title defense.
As of now, the UFC has not made any official decisions regarding the flyweight title. However, with Shevchenko sidelined for the next few months due to surgery, it could create an opportunity for a top-ranked contender like Erin Blanchfield or Manon Fiorot to vie for a title shot against the champion.
For the time being, Shevchenko is preparing for her upcoming surgery and is expected to make her return in 2024.