Alexa Grasso knew she would have to beat Valentina Shevchenko twice if she wanted to be UFC champion.
Given Shevchenko’s dominance in the women’s flyweight division, Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) expected Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) to get an immediate rematch if she took the title from her back in March at UFC 285. Well, Grasso is now champion and finds herself in that situation of an immediate rematch against Shevchenko this Saturday at Noche UFC at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Although some fans might be tired of seeing immediate rematches play out at the championship level in the UFC, Grasso is fine with facing Shevchenko once again.
“Yeah, of course,” Grasso told MMA Junkie in Spanish when asked if she expected an immediate rematch. “This is something that’s done, that’s tradition when a very dominant champion loses for the first time. It’s out of respect, and she deserves the rematch. I’m someone who respects the rules and abides by the company’s decision. Also, for me, it’s an honor to fight her again, because we can’t forget about everything she’s done. She’s a great athlete and has done incredible things for the sport, not only on the female side but the sport overall.
“Her career has been great. It motivates me even more and makes me train extremely hard because I know she’s doing the same. I know that both of us are bringing entirely new games. We’re coming stronger, faster and more aggressive than the first fight. I love challenges, and this is a big challenge.”
Grasso submitted Shevchenko in shocking fashion during their title fight back in March. She’s unsure what to expect this time around from Shevchenko but believes it’ll be a tougher fight than the first.
“I can’t say it’s going to be the same fight because I don’t know how she’s going to come out,” Grasso said. “She’s always waiting but now said she’s going to come out more aggressive, so I hope that’s the case. I hope she comes with everything because we’re ready. Wherever she wants to take the fight, I’m ready. I’m excited, and I’m eager to get in the octagon. I want to fight now. I’m so excited. Of course, things like the first fight can happen. We all have our weak points and strengths, so we’ll see how it goes.”
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