Noche UFC is a historic event taking place this weekend in Las Vegas to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, and the UFC has the first-ever Mexican women’s champion headlining the card.
Alexa Grasso is set to defend her belt in a rematch against the great Valentina Shevchenko, the woman she took the belt from following a massive upset submission victory in March. After being a huge betting underdog in the first meeting, Grasso is now only +145 to remain champion after Saturday night.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these amazing championship fighters and break down how either of them could get their hand raised in front of a packed T-Mobile Arena crowd on Saturday night.
Alexa Grasso–Was The First One a Fluke?
When you have a dominant champion like Shevchenko, it’s tough not to talk about the mistakes that were made by her. You just aren’t used to seeing Shevchenko be touched. Grasso did an awesome job in the first fight by competing without any fear and coming forward to take the belt.
After winning the first round on all three scorecards by landing the bigger shots and winning wrestling scrambles, Shevchenko was forced to switch into a wrestler to keep Grasso at bay. This will be the fight that will decide whether or not Grasso is the better fighter.
Grasso will be supported by the Mexican faithful in the crowd and all over North America on Saturday night. Being a champion tends to bring someone to another level in their training camp and confidence inside the cage. Grasso will surely be the most dangerous she has ever been on Saturday night.
Valentina Shevchenko–Unfamiliar Circumstances
This weekend is the first time that Shevchenko can live up to her fight alias and actually be ‘The Bullet” seeking out her enemy. She is now hunting for the belt for the first time since winning it nine fights ago. Her energy this fight week is noticeably different than in the past–she wants it more.
Being the challenger can bring on very different emotions in every person. Shevchenko will need to use that emotion to be focused on the task at hand, but she could easily be losing confidence in herself after tapping to a massive underdog earlier this year.
The crowd will most likely be pro-Grasso, which is also something that Shevchenko isn’t used to. This fight’s outcome will be determined by whether or not Shevchenko is at her best. With all due respect to Grasso, it’s tough to imagine anybody beating a focused, sharp Shevchenko at flyweight.
Grasso vs. Shevchenko Pick and Prediction
After breaking down the tape of their first meeting, it shows how impressive of a performance it was from Grasso, and it proved that she deserves to be champion. But it also showed the massive holes in her wrestling.
If the ref didn’t stand the women up when Shevchenko was in Grasso’s guard on the ground, we have no idea what could have happened if Shevchenko had the chance to improve her position. There could have been one single elbow that landed that would change the entire fight with a cut.
The official prediction for this women’s flyweight title bout rematch is Shevchenko making the adjustments needed and getting the job done. She is too elite and too great of a champion to bet against in an immediate rematch scenario.
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