Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko: words before the fight

Participants in the women’s flyweight title fight, Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko, shared their thoughts on the upcoming rematch headlining this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 227 event in Las Vegas.

Valentina Shevchenko:

“I can’t say that this defeat taught me anything. Alexa says she was good in the first fight, but I say not good enough to win. I was winning the whole fight from the first round right up until the last moment in the fourth round, but now I don’t think about what happened. I know what I have to do this Saturday and I’m not looking back. In this position I don’t have time for sentimentality, I don’t have time for that. I only have to go forward, not a step backwards.”

Alexa Grasso:

“It’s strange for me to hear that because she’s a person with a lot of experience, performing at the highest level, and we all know that there are no accidents. I was preparing that moment. You can watch the training video where I’m practicing the same position. I trained that to win the fight. As for the score, the first round was on me. In the second round, and I thought that she, as a Muay Thai champion, would want to fight me in the stand-up, but she decided to go to the parterre. In the fourth round I made adjustments and I think the score became 2-2. For me, the round-by-round score was 2-2.”

“I made a lot of changes in preparation for the second fight. We’ve already spent 20 minutes in the octagon, and this time I’m going to do everything I can to make it a stand-up fight. I performed well in the first round and it was amazing – this Saturday I promise to give you all an equally amazing fight”

In March of this year, 30-year-old Alexa Grasso pulled off one of the most high-profile upsets in mixed martial arts history, finishing 35-year-old Valentina Shevchenko by rear-naked choke in the fourth round to become the new UFC flyweight champion. In doing so, “Bullet” entered the fourth round leading the fight 29-28 on all judges’ scorecards.

Before losing to the Mexican, Shevchenko made seven successful title defenses, which she won against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December 2018.