Alexa Grasso isn’t trying to rush into a title shot just so she can become the latest challenger to get steamrolled by reigning UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Following an impressive five-round decision win over Viviane Araujo in UFC Vegas 62’s main event, the 29-year-old contender admitted that she would like more experience before challenging for gold. Grasso stated that while she wouldn’t turn down a title shot if offered, she is smart enough to admit that having to compete in another main event will prepare her better for the challenge.
“I have faced a huge challenge [fighting for 25 minutes for the first time],” Grasso stated at the UFC Vegas 62 press conference. “I’m hoping I can do this again. I wish I could have another main event with one of the girls, maybe the winner [of Katlyn Chookagian vs. Manon Fiorot] or the ones that are on the top.
“I would like to test myself again for 25 minutes before [a title shot], but if I have to go for the belt, I will do it.”
Prior to her fight on Saturday, Grasso acknowledged that a win wouldn’t guarantee her anything because there’s another marquee matchup in her division taking place just one week later. At UFC 280, Katlyn Chookagian battles Manon Fiorot in a fight that could have major ramifications at 125 pounds as Shevchenko awaits word on her next opponent.
For her part, Grasso doesn’t really have a preference about who she wants to win at UFC 280, but she’ll definitely be watching to see who comes out on top.
“It’s an important fight,” Grasso said. “I’m definitely waiting to watch that fight. That fight is something I would love to see. Because Manon will win, that means she’ll have five consecutive wins. That is more than I can imagine. But if Chookagian wins, she’s also been winning. This is an important fight. It’s an important fight.
Chookagian vs. Fiorot are only seven days away. Grasso hesitates to make any commitments considering the impact that this fight will have on her future plans.
“I don’t know. Grasso stated that he must wait. This is an important fight too. Like I said before, we’re kind of in the semifinals so this is important. I must wait
Grasso believes that a five-round fight with a different opponent would give her more experience and help her get ready for her title challenge.
But if the UFC comes calling with a contract to face Shevchenko next, Grasso won’t turn it down.
“I will do whatever [UFC matchmaker Mick] Maynard says,” Grasso said. “I trust him, he always puts good challenges on me. I will do what he tells me. However, I’d like another major event .”