On Sunday night, female UFC bantamweight fighter Valentina Shevchenko was caught up in a dramatic incident in Lima, Peru that left one man dead and her coach in hospital with a gun shot wound.
Now, four days on from the scary incident which saw three robbers enter a restaurant with guns and a 15 shot exchange take place, the 28-year-old has spoken publicly for the first time in the form of an official statement.
In it, Schevchenko backed the actions of Pavel Fedatov - her coach allegedly opened fire on the assailants - and praises him for risking his life to protect her and the other customers.
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The statement reads:
"Thank you so much dear friends for all the moral support in this very hard time that I and my family are going through!
"On Sunday my coach master Pavel risked his life to defend me and the people that I was having dinner at the local restaurant.
"I was at the back of the restaurant, and I've seen how the thieves went from table to table hitting the diners and snatching their belongings without anyone being able to help them. When they were getting closer towards our table, Pavel acted very determined and bravely."
In CCTV footage of the incident which can be viewed below, Schevchenko is seen rushing to the side of Fedatov as he falls to the ground. Speaking on his actions, the UFC fighter explained why he went after the robbers:
"If criminals would have found the gun he was carrying they would have thought that he was a cop, and very likely that they would have killed him with his own gun.
"The Act of Pavel was not only in self-defense, but also the defense of my life and also of the people who were by my side! Now Pavel is recovering thanks to God!"
Not only is Fedatov the coach of Schevchenko, he is also her brother-in-law, so you can understand her concern. Fortunately, it sounds like the UFC fighter's coach is going to make a full recovery.
Despite the emotional trauma likely caused by the shootout, Schevchenko herself avoided any injury.
Whether she is still in a position to take on Holly Holm in a scheduled bout at UFC on Fox 20 on July 23 remains to be seen, however.
Despite a 1-1 record since entering UFC last year, there are high hopes surrounding her potential. Hopefully. this week's events will not derail her attempts to make a statement in the promotion.
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