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Alexa Grasso prefers another UFC main event before title shot against Valentina Shevchenko

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 noted that she would never turn down a title shot if it was offered to her, but she’s smart enough to acknowledge that competing in another main event will better prepare her for that opportunity.

“I’ve faced a big challenge [fighting for 25 minutes for the first time],” Grasso explained at the UFC Vegas 62 post-fight press conference. “I hope I can do it 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. I want to watch that fight. I’ve always thought about the result, because if Manon wins, she will have five in a row, which is higher than me. But if Chookagian wins, she’s also been winning. It’s an important fight. I’m excited to watch it.”

Because Chookagian vs. Fiorot is only seven days away, Grasso is hesitant to commit to anything considering how much that fight likely impacts what’s next for her.

“I don’t know. I have to wait,” Grasso said. “Because this is an important fight, too. Like I said before, we’re kind of in the semifinals so this is important. I have to wait.”

Ideally, Grasso says a chance to add more experience on her résumé through another five-round fight, regardless of the opponent, would be the perfect situation to get her ready to compete for the title.

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. So whatever he says. But of course, I would like to have another main event.”

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