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Alexa Grasso: Valentina Shevchenko rematch ‘won’t be different’ — ‘I’m going to finish the fight’

MMA: MAR 04 UFC 285

Alexa Grasso has full confidence in herself ahead of her first career title defense.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) celebrates Mexican Independence Day this year with Noche UFC. In the main event of the Sept. 16, 2023, Las Vegas, Nevada “Fight Night,” the women’s Flyweight titleholder, Grasso, looks for her second consecutive win against Valentina Shevchenko. Grasso, 29, is the last remaining Mexican UFC champion after the country achieved three title wins earlier in the year, including Grasso’s massive fourth round face crank upset of Shevchenko at UFC 285 (watch highlights).

Despite Grasso’s submission win being only the second finish of her 11-fight UFC career (8-3, 16-3 overall), she expects a similar outcome against the legendary “Bullet.”

“Every single fight is different,” Grasso told MMA Junkie. “You always have a plan in your mind and you never know how your opponent is going to respond, but one thing I can tell you is I’m going to finish the fight. I touched her in the first round, I was super close to do a knockout, but it didn’t happen. But, I was super close so, this won’t be different. I’m going to finish the fight no matter where [it goes]. I’m going to submit her or it’s going to be a knockout.”

Shevchenko, 35, was a previously perfect unbeaten 10-0 at 125 pounds until falling to Grasso. Before she began her run atop the division, Shevchenko challenged for 135-pound UFC gold on two occasions, losing twice to Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko will now have to adapt to the challenger role once again in what is the third rematch of her 27-fight career (23-4). She is 1-1 in her two previous multi-fight rivalries with Nunes and the current Bellator titleholder, Liz Carmouche.

“This is super, super interesting and exciting for me because as an MMA fan and as an analyst that I work too, I would like to know what’s going to be her strategy,” Grasso said. “Now she’s the challenger which is completely different from what she has done all these years.

“So, of course now she has to go for the throne because when she was the champion, she was just waiting and waiting, and I understand that part,” she concluded. “It’s going to be huge, and I’m super excited for this fight, I love to fight, and this means a lot to me.”

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