The conviction heading into UFC 285 was that Alexa Grasso would have to battle an ideal battle to overcome Valentina Shevchenko. Who realized that additionally applied to the hero?
In a firmly challenged battle, Shevchenko committed one error that Grasso exploited by soaking in a back bare gag for a fourth-round accommodation win to guarantee the ladies’ flyweight from the longstanding prevailing champion at T-Versatile Field in Las Vegas.
The staggering result makes Grasso the principal Mexico-conceived lady ever to bring home a UFC championship (she was quick to seek one) as she turns into the third recently delegated Mexican hero of 2023.
“Kindly squeeze me, since I feel like I’m dreaming,” Grasso told Joe Rogan during her post-battle octagon interview.
Through three rounds, Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) had an ethical triumph of sorts as her boxing filled in as a reminder to Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) early, which made the winner resort to takedowns and hooking that probably made them win two of the initial three casings.
Then came the second in Cycle 4. After they burned through a large portion of the round standing and trading punches, Shevchenko tossed a turning back kick in the last moment that missed, which permitted Grasso to hop on her back and take the battle to the mat right away.
From that point, Grasso really buckled down for the completion until she got it by soaking in the stifle and driving Shevchenko to tap out with 26 seconds left in the fourth. Grasso showed the completion was no mishap.
“I train for that thing,” said Grasso, a previous strawweight who is 5-0 as a flyweight. “It was preparing. I train each and every day that thig, on the grounds that I realized she did those turning things. … I prepared thus, so hard like I never have before in my life.”
The outcome ended Shevchenko’s prevailing title run at seven successive title safeguards, and it was her most memorable misfortune at flyweight since she dropped down from bantamweight in 2018.
Shevchenko made her goals clear a while later.
“Quick rematch,” she said, “in light of the fact that I realize I was winning the battle.”