Strawweights Alexa Grasso and Randa Markos (#9) squared off tonight (August 5th, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 112 on FOX Sports 1 from inside Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City, Mexico. Grasso was considered an elite prospect and a potential star in her native Mexico, but dropped her last bout to a much-improved Felice Herrig. Markos has alternated wins with losses for nine fights straight; her last fight was a win against Carla Esparza. This became a catchweight bout after Grasso missed weight by three pounds.
They touched gloves. Markos was wearing all red with red hair, while Grasso was in black and green. Grasso ate a right straight in an exchange. They traded again wildly. Grasso landed a nice jab. Markos countered a jab with a combination, and when Grasso stayed in the pocket she kept throwing, landing four or five punches. Markos landed her own nice jab. Grasso landed a leg kick. Grasso stepped in with a lead body kick. After a very fast start, the fight had settled into a slightly less frenetic rhythm. Grasso landed a body kick into a nice one-two, then doubled down and landed again. They clinched, and Grasso pushed Markos up against the cage. Markos tried a head-and-arm throw, but Grasso stayed on top and got her down. When Markos tried to stand back up, Grasso dragged her backwards and took her back. Markos scrambled, and Grasso landed some nice elbows. They ended up in the clinch again, and Markos eventually reversed the clinch position and landed some shots of her own to close out the action of a high-octane opening round.
They touched gloves again to start the second round. Grasso had a high guard. She landed a head kick almost immediately and Markos came back with a flurry of punches. Grasso stayed on her, and reversed a trip attempt into brief top control. Markos got back up and dragged Grasso down with a bodylock and a trip. Grasso scrambled up into a takedown attempt of her own. She held Markos against the fence for a moment before breaking free. She landed a jab, the a leg kick. Markos caught a body kick from her and swept out her standing leg, dumping Grasso flat on her back. She tried to pass guard, and nearly got into mount. Grasso tied up a leg and tried to control Markos’ posture, before seizing a chance to get back to her feet. She hit a jab. Markos caught another body kick and got another takedown, but Grasso reversed her... or did she? An attempt to get into guard was re-reversed by some slick grappling, and Markos proceeded to land hard elbows from full mount. Grasso was trying to survive, getting back to half guard. The round ended with Markos still on top landing elbows as Grasso tried to work back to her base.
Grasso came into the final round knowing she lost the second and the first was close. She caught Markos with a left hook. Markos was circling, looking for an opening. Grasso threw a one-two into a low calf kick. Markos timed her next entry with a clinch shot, but Grasso palmed her away. Markos shot again, and this time she wrapped Grasso up and tripped her to the canvas. Grasso locked up her guard as Markos landed short straight shots from the top. After a bit, Grasso shoved her away with her feet and got back up. She landed a one-two, then a jab. Markos switched stances on the outside, feinting. She saw an opening and darted in for another clinch attempt, throwing a knee as Grasso backed away. Grasso found Markos behind her after a one-two attempt, but looked for a guillotine and Markos let go. Grasso landed several sharp combinations as the round wore down, fighting off another takedown attempt. Would it be enough to win a decision?
It was. Grasso wins the split decision, much to the delight of the Mexican crowd. Markos’ win-loss pattern remains intact for the tenth straight fight. She says her team told her not to throw any more kicks, which was crucial to her narrow victory. She calls out no one, giving the stereotypical “I’m just happy to be competing, I’ll go wherever you tell me” response. Grasso will be happy for her win over a top ten opponent, no matter how small the margin of victory.
Official Results: Alexa Grasso def. Randa Markos via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
See full results, including play-by-play, here