LAS VEGAS – Alexa Grasso has no problem running it back with Valentina Shevchenko.
The new UFC women’s flyweight champion is OK with fighting Shevchenko in a rematch after she dethroned her Saturday in the UFC 285 co-main event. Grasso (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) took the title from Shevchenko (23-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) with a rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
Shevchenko was one of the longest reigning champions in the UFC. She had seven consecutive title defenses entering UFC 285. Because of Shevchenko’s tenure as champion, Grasso said she would be OK fighting her again.
“Of course – she was so dominant in the division,” Grasso told reporters at the UFC 285 post-fight news conference. “Of course we can do this again.”
Although some may look at Grasso’s finish as the result of a mistake by Shevchenko, the Mexican said she actually prepared for that specific sequence and had a game plan around it.
“We knew that she was going to spin, and it was easier to take the back from that position, so I was just waiting for that moment,” Grasso said. “I was hoping that she would spin. It happened in the (Joanne Wood fight), and I knew that I was able and easier to get the back on that moment, so I was just waiting for the opportunity.”
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Grasso is now the first woman born in Mexico to win a UFC title. It’s a historic feat and one she’s very proud of.
“I was born, raised and trained in Mexico,” Grasso said. “When we started, we were just told you would never achieve it. You would never get a belt. You would never get to the UFC. Man, we’re working very hard. I have an amazing team behind me – my uncle, my dad, my coaches, all my teammates. We have a lot of talent in the gym, and I’m so proud of that.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie