Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight contenders Alexa Grasso and Viviane Araujo will square off TONIGHT (Sat., Oct. 15, 2022) at UFC Vegas 62 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s only taken three fights at 125 pounds to establish Grasso as a Top 5-ranked contender. There’s been no speed bump or hurdle for the 29-year-old boxer, who has quickly placed herself in prime position to fight for a title. Araujo, meanwhile, is just six fights into her Flyweight career, so it’s not like she’s been wasting time, either. The Brazilian has picked up some solid wins thus far, but she still needs one major performance to really prove her name and push her into the title picture.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:
Key Wins: Joanne Wood (UFC Columbus), Maycee barber (UFC 258), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (UFC 238), Randa Markos (UFC Fight Night 114), Mizuki Inoue (Invicta FC 11)
Key Losses: Tatiana Suarez (UFC Fight Night 129), Carla Esparza (UFC Fight Night 159), Felice Herrig (UFC Fight Night 104)
Keys to Victory: Grasso really moves well. She puts together solid combinations, can attack from the front foot or the back, and generally forces her opponents into her rhythm. Her ground game has come a long way as well, as seen in her recent first-round submission win over Wood.
Staying off the canvas is vital in this match up, however. Grasso wins this fight via footwork and boxing, not engaging Araujo on the floor. Her opponent is too strong and too slick there — it won’t go well.
Fortunately, Araujo enters every exchanges on a straight line. She fires forward in combination but does so at roughly the same tempo and with the same few strikes. That should create tons of opportunity for Grasso, who has always been good at forcing her opponent to come up short or slipping inside big swings. Then, she can counter with her own shots, which do carry an impact as well.
Stick and move!
Key Wins: Andrea Lee (UFC Vegas 54), Alexis Davis (UFC 240), Roxanne Modafferi (UFC Fight Island 8), Montana De La Rosa (UFC Vegas 9)
Key Losses: Katlyn Chookagian (UFC 262), Jessica Eye (UFC 245)
Keys to Victory: Araujo is a really athletic contender. She’s stronger and more powerful than most opponents, able to bully them with forward pressure, heavy punches, and takedowns. Once on the mat, Araujo is genuinely very slick in how she advances position and controls her opponent.
The takedown is obviously the end goal here, but a few minor adjustments could have Araujo find far more success on the feet, which would then make the shot easier to set up and finish. Namely, Araujo has to feint and switch up her timing a bit. Forward pressure is great, but not if it’s predictable, as Grasso will be looking to counter.
If Araujo is instead able to hide her entries just a bit, she increases the odds of catching Grasso clean and/or making her miss. Araujo hits hard enough that Grasso will take notice, making level changes into the hips far easier to come by. Once Araujo is landing punches and finding entries, it’s hard to stop that ball from picking up momentum, so it’s imperative that Araujo finds some success with her hands.
This may be a title eliminator.
Valentina Shevchenko’s next fight is up in the air. She might rematch Taila Santos given how close their last bout was, but “Bullet” doesn’t seem terribly interested in that fight right now. She could also move back to 135 pounds for a third dance with Amanda Nunes. If neither of those fights materialize, however, the next most deserving option would be the winner of this bout, and neither Grasso nor Araujo have fought Shevchenko previously.
An impressive win from either woman could secure that opportunity.
On the flip side, defeat ends Grasso’s undefeated Flyweight run. Given the lack of depth at 125 pounds, an eventual title shot still seems very possible, but it definitely slows her rise. Conversely, Araujo is 35 years old. She may not have the time to keep working for major opportunities like this, so it’s important that she makes the most of this one.
At UFC Vegas 62, Alexa Grasso and Viviane Araujo will throw down in the main event. Which woman takes a step closer to the title?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 62 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 62: “Grasso vs. Araujo” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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