UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has revealed what Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry told her after her latest win, congratulating her, sharing a clip of the pair talking while UFC president Dana White watched on.
The scenes played out following the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian’s latest victory in the octagon, producing a dominant victory before being congratulated by the icon she worked with on a movie, ‘Bruised’, which was directed by Berry last year.
Making a personal call after watching Valentina enjoy a brutal second-round TKO win against Jessica Andrade at UFC 261, the A-list actress can just be heard telling Shevchenko that she would have been on the front row if she could have attended, while the brawler thanks her for her kind words.
“The most amazing and inspirational person,” Shevchenko captioned the video, which was watched almost 500,000 times in less than 24 hours on Instagram. “Dear Halle, your friendship is priceless.”
Berry replied: “I love you, champ. You are my inspiration. You are the most focused and determined person I’ve ever met. And I can’t wait for the world to see what a movie star you are.”
Released soon on Netflix, Berry features in the film as disgraced aging MMA star Jackie Justice, who has to face an upcoming, rising star played by Shevchenko while also taking care of a complex custody issue relating to her six-year-old son.
As she explained to Jimmy Fallon in a well-received episode of the Tonight Show last year, Berry “broke some stuff” on set when shooting fight scenes.
Valentina Shevchenko, whose 7th win tonight is the most in UFC flyweight history — once played an MMA fighter in a film alongside Halle Berry. “I like to surprise people. They don’t expect this from me but here I am. I can do everything.”💪💯 pic.twitter.com/zz2361Ywtb
— Boardroom (@boardroom) April 25, 2021
“I always get hurt, but I realized that, when you go hard, you’re bound to get hurt,” she explained. “When you do your own stunts, you’re bound to get hurt.
“In this movie, I was fighting the real UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. She had to throw some real kicks and I had to really take them, and that really broke some bones.
“She’s a beast but I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, a better scene mate, a better fight partner. She just brought so much reality to it for me. At times, I felt like I was really fighting.
“Our referee that was in the movie is a real referee, and he says a couple times, ‘Man, I thought I was watching a real fight’ because she brought so much power and authenticity to our fight scenes.”
Inviting her director to cheer her on in a win against Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247, Shevchenko returned the compliment by claiming Berry could provide “competition” to other female fighters in MMA’s most competitive championship.
“We trained four hours a day with Halle, training non-stop” Shevchenko told Sports Illustrated.
“She did everything amazingly. For this movie, she started training MMA – Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, everything – two or three years ago.
“And she’s now in such a great shape that I can say she can be very [competitive] for girls in the UFC as well.
“I don’t know if she will want to be a fighter, but she has the skills and level… and you will see it when the movie is released.”