UFC: Champion Alexa Grasso the underdog in rematch with Valentina Shevchenko

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UFC: Champion Alexa Grasso the underdog in rematch with Valentina Shevchenko

The UFC’s women’s divisions has a new pound for pound queen now that Amanda Nunes is retired. Right now that spot belongs to women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso. The woman she took the flyweight title from is ranked third on the women’s pound-for-pound list and will challenge Grasso for the championship at UFC Fight Night. The winner of this fight should end up at the top of the newest pound-for-pound rankings, solidifying themselves as the top female fighter in the UFC with Nunes gone.

Quick Take

  • The champion is the underdog
  • Grasso won the first fight by submission
  • Women’s pound-for-pound number one spot up for grabs

Fight details 

Alexa Grasso will defend the UFC women’s flyweight title at UFC Fight Night on September 16 after winning the title against Valentina Shevchenko in March. The odds are on Shevchenko’s side in this fight. She has -175 odds to win this fight on BetVictor. The champion is usually the betting favourite on UFC betting sites. The last time champion who was an underdog while defending their title was Leon Edwards at UFC 286.

Grasso is the underdog heading into this fight. She has +138 odds to successfully defend her title. The fight will take place in Las Vegas. According to UFC.com, Grasso and Shevchenko are the same height and are one inch apart in the reach department. This is their second fight, Grasso won the first fight by submission.

Alexa Grasso

Grasso is making her first defense of the flyweight championship. Her professional MMA record is 16-3. She has shown good striking, versatility, and the ability to pull off submissions during her time in the UFC. In the first fight with Shevchenko, she hurt Shevchenko and proved that she can strike with the former champion. 

One of the biggest concerns for Grasso is her takedown defense. She was taken down multiple times by Shevchenko in the first fight and has been taken down by a couple of her recent opponents. Most of them have not been able to capitalize on this, as Grasso continues to find ways to win fights. She has also shown that she can submit her opponents. Grasso has a lot of ways to win this fight. The only reason to avoid betting on her would be if you believe Shevchenko’s wrestling will be too much in this fight.

Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko

Shevchenko is coming off her first loss since losing to Amanda Nunes in 2017. It is hard to know how Shevchenko will respond after losing her title. This is something to consider before putting money down on her. Shevchenko took Grasso down multiple times in the first fight and proved that she can beat Grasso with her wrestling. Where she struggled in the fight was on her feet at times. Shevchenko was a dominant champion for years, so there are still a lot of reasons to be confident in Shevchenko.

The problem is Grasso could be a matchup nightmare for Shevchenko. Grasso set up her submission with her striking, taking her back and submitting her after a missed kick. If Shevchenko does not feel comfortable striking with Grasso for an entire fight and has fears about being submitted if she takes her down to the ground, Shevchenko will be in a tough spot. She can still win this fight by controlling Grasso and keeping Grasso off her. Shevchenko can also win this fight by KO/TKO. Grasso does not mind trading strikes, so this could provide a good opportunity for Shevchenko to win by stoppage. This is the second fight between these two, so one of them may come out with a new plan that is unexpected.

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