Alexa Grasso on fighting Valentina Shevchenko: “She’s great, but I’m better”
Alexa Grasso has a chance to make history on Saturday night when she challenges Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship at UFC 285 in Las Vegas. The Mexican fighter is confident in her skills and determined to win the belt.
“This is the most important fight in my life. I’m ready to give everything I have to win that belt,” Grasso told CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri.
Grasso, who started her MMA career at strawweight, moved up to flyweight in 2020 and has won four fights in a row against Viviane Araujo, Joanne Wood, Maycee Barber, and Ji Yeon Kim. She believes that the change in weight class has benefited her physically and mentally.
“I started pretty young when I started fighting. I started to grow. I became stronger. I started to become more mature. I think it was a great transition for me. This change in my life and in my body and in my mind. I’m enjoying fighting so much more,” she told Mahjouri.
Grasso is known for her crisp boxing skills, which she attributes to her Mexican heritage. She thinks that her striking will be her biggest weapon against Shevchenko, who is widely regarded as one of the best female fighters of all time.
“Definitely my biggest weapon,” Grasso said of her boxing. “She’s great. I can’t say any bad things about her. Honestly! She’s great. But I’m always grateful for tough opponents because every single time that I have a tough opponent, I’m better.”
Grasso also expressed her admiration for Shevchenko and other women fighters who have paved the way for the sport.
“I’m a fan of every woman that is fighting because they were role models for me. How can you learn if you don’t have any examples?” she said to Mahjouri.
Grasso is not only inspired by other women fighters, but also by her fellow Mexican fighters who have achieved success in the UFC, such as Brandon Moreno and Yair Rodriguez.
“It feels great to represent Mexico right now because we are having a huge moment,” she said. “We’re always there to try and help each other… It’s great that we’re achieving great things…I think it’s nice to support others that are climbing hard.”
Grasso hopes to join Moreno as a UFC champion on Saturday night and make history for herself and her country.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso is the co-main event of UFC 285. In the main event, Jon Jones will face Ciryl Gane in a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout.
Fight fans can watch these two bouts and the stacked main card and preliminary card simply by ordering the ESPN+ PPV before Saturday night.