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Alexa Grasso targets September rematch with Valentina Shevchenko, hopefully in Mexico

Alexa Grasso hopes her first title defense will be on home soil, preferably this fall.

Earlier this month, Grasso shocked the MMA world when she submitted longtime women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko with a rear-naked choke in their title fight at UFC 285. The finish was the first loss of Shevchenko’s storied flyweight career, and following the bout, the former champion called for an immediate rematch. With seven successful defenses under her belt prior to UFC 285, Shevchenko will most likely get that opportunity, and the new champion is more than happy to oblige.

“I hope so,“ Grasso said Monday on The MMA Hour when asked if a rematch is next. “I hope so. She asked for that and I would love to fight again with her. I know that she’s super competitive, I know she’s a perfectionist like me, so imagine a second fight. Truly imagine. I’m wondering what she’s going to do in this second fight, what she’s going to try to do, knowing the first one, knowing what I did. Also, I have a lot of things to do and improve and get better. It’s going to be like a chess match.”

Adding to the desire for an immediate rematch are the circumstances of the fight. Though the bout was competitive throughout, Shevchenko was ahead on the scorecards and seemingly in a great position to defend her title until Grasso countered an errant spinning attack by taking Shevchenko’s back, leading to the fight-ending submission.

After the bout, Grasso revealed she had been training that particular counter for months in preparation, but some fans were still dismissive of her win.

Now she’s prepared to cement her status as champion by doing it again.

“I’m truly excited for the second fight and I also know that people will love to see it because a lot of people say it was a mistake from her and it was a fluke,” Grasso said. “Of course I don’t think it was a fluke because I trained so much for that [move], but I think it’s going to be important to show everyone that I’m the champion.”

As the champion, Grasso is hoping to reap some of the benefits that come with the title — mainly, the opportunity to fight in front of her home country. As one of three current Mexican UFC champions, and the first Mexican female champion in UFC history, Grasso hopes the promotion gives her an opportunity to have her first title defense on home soil.

“I don’t know the chances, but I would love, I would love, I truly would love for this second fight to be in Mexico,” Grasso said. “And I would love that this fight could happen in Guadalajara. Imagine that. Canelo’s going to fight here in Guadalajara. Imagine to bring the UFC to my city, that would be huge. But if it’s Mexico City, that would be great too.”

Grasso even has a date in mind: September 16 is Mexican Independence Day, which just so happens to fall on a Saturday this year. So in a perfect world, that’s when the UFC would return for its first Mexico pay-per-view since UFC 188 back in 2015.

“September sounds like great,” Grasso said. “September sounds amazing, but let’s see. Of course, before the end of this year, I would like to fight. Two fights every year sounds good. I truly hope that this can be in Mexico.”

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