Alexa Grasso Doesn't Expect Valentina Shevchenko Rematch To Be Close: 'I've Adjusted To Be Winning Every Single Round'
After a brief three-week global tour that took the promotion to Singapore, France, and Australia, the UFC is back on United States soil this week for a Mexican Independence Day-celebrating event.
The card, branded as Noche UFC, will take place at the T-Mobile Arena. It’s set to see a host of Mexican and Mexican-American fighters taking to the Octagon, the most prominent of which is Alexa Grasso.
Grasso, the reigning UFC women’s flyweight champion, will be returning for the first defense of her title. The Guadalajara native won the gold this past March at UFC 285, where she concluded a close and competitive first-time challenge successfully by submitting Valentina Shevchenko via face crank in round four.
Six months on, Grasso has been tasked with repeating the feat if she’s to further enhance her legacy and cement her reign with a first title retention. And not only is the champ expecting to do just that, but she’s planning on doing so in one-sided fashion…
Grasso ‘Improving In All Areas’ Ahead Of Shevchenko Rematch
In her first battle with Shevchenko, Grasso entered the penultimate round 29-28 down on all three scorecards before finding the submission.
The fight-ending sequence began when “Bullet” gave up her back with an ill-advised spinning kick at close range. During the lead-up to their second dance, Shevchenko has insisted that she won’t make such an error this time around, thus eliminating any chance of a defeat.
But Grasso told the New York Post’s Scott Fontana that she’s working to ensure that she doesn’t fall to the same deficit in the eyes of the judges come September 16. And having made some necessary adjustments, the Mexican expects to win every frame.
“I know that I’m doing my best every single day to be the best,” Grasso said. “It’s an honor for me to share the Octagon with someone that has done so much for the sport… Facing with such a big and great opponent just made me better, made me stronger, made me work super hard, and I’m a better athlete than I was.
“I’ve been training so much. I’ve been improving in so many areas, which is the most important thing,” Grasso continued. “First round I was touching her with every single punch I was throwing. She changed her strategy in the second and third rounds… I know what I’m capable of. I will be more prepared for the second fight for wherever the fight goes… I’ve trained better than the last one. I did a lot of adjustments to be winning every single round now.”
Should Grasso succeed in her aims for an emphatic first title defense this weekend in Las Vegas, a new era will well and truly be underway in the flyweight division.
And the Mexican also won’t be without opponent choices moving forward, with both Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot staking their claims for a championship opportunity thanks to standout performances in recent weeks.
Viva Mexico 🇲🇽@AlexaGrasso looks to make another statement in the rematch Saturday night!#NocheUFC | SATURDAY | Live on ESPN+ 📺 pic.twitter.com/PcinhvPILL
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2023
- Read Also: Valentina Shevchenko Makes Firm Promise Ahead Of Alexa Grasso Rematch At Noche UFC
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