Los Angeles The loudest of the three Mexican-born champions, who were previously anointed by the UFC in 2023, was announced at UFC 285 on Saturday.
In UFC 286, flyweight Alexa Grasso (16-3) stunned the world by submitting seven-time champion Valentina Shevchenko (23-4) at the 4:34 mark of the fourth round. She did so as a 6-to-1 outsider and became one of three new Mexican champions this year, joining flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez.
I feel like I’m dreaming, so please hit me,” Grasso pleaded. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment.
After fighting for years at strawweight, Guadalajara, Mexico’s Grasso made her UFC flyweight debut only five bouts ago in August 2020. Shevchenko was competitive with her throughout, but it was her ability to take advantage of the veteran champion’s one slip-up that sent her to the top of the leaderboard.
Shevchenko launched a spinning back kick with little over a minute remaining in the fourth, exposing her back to Grasso. Grasso anticipated Shevchenko’s attack and moved to her back without delay. As the two were on the ground, Grasso put a rear-naked choke on them. Shevchenko resisted the submission for a while before giving up to the choke.
Grasso said, “I trained for it, I trained it every single day. “I was aware that she spun things.”
In the previous 15 years, it is the sixth biggest upset in a UFC championship match.
Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan suffered his first defeat since 2017, ending a nine-fight winning run. While Grasso did have a lot of success on the feet, she seemed to be in somewhat of a control of the battle at the moment of the error. Shevchenko used a variety of footwork to target Grasso’s torso and legs, and she was successful in four out of her six takedown attempts.
Shevchenko said, “This is what occurs in mixed martial arts. “Without a question, you are winning the battle overall, but everything may change at any time. It’s all part of the fun. Best wishes to Alexa.”
As she stumbled Shevchenko with a stinging left hand through the centre, Grasso put her in a difficult situation right away. Although having trouble staying on her feet in the second and third rounds, she was able to land her boxing combinations throughout. Yet in the fourth, she began to maintain her targeted range and defend the takedown better.
It had taken a while for the UFC to name its first champion who was of Mexican descent. In January, Moreno became the first ever, and the corporation has already named three leaders in only three months. This follows a previous statement that the business will establish a Performance Institute in Mexico City in the third quarter of 2023.